Proven Strategies

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The Best Friends Podcast Episode 101

Leaning in and Listening - Diversity and Inclusion in Animal Welfare (rebroadcast)
February 17th, 2022

This week we're dipping into the archives to revisit one of our earliest episodes, and an episode that is also one of the most downloaded ever. So if you caught this the first time or not, we encourage you to give this one a listen.

It was June of 2020, and the nation was gripped by racial tension and division exacerbated by the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man in Minneapolis. Days of protests and demonstrations in all fifty states demanded an end to police brutality. It underscored the dire need to take action to break down institutionalized racism and the treatment of people of color in American society.

As the focus turned to animal welfare, our industry, arguably for the first time, began looking introspectively at the severe lack of diversity and inclusion, both in our staffing and how we relate to the communities we serve, and how that has impacted our communities, and our organizations.

As our guest James Evans, the CEO of CARE, said, the number of pet-loving people of color is in the tens of millions, and addressing this is crucial to ending the killing of pets in our nation's shelters. Moreover, it is a moral imperative for all of us.

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James Evans

James Evans

chief executive officer, CARE

James is a multi-awarding winning creative strategist and leader with 25+ years of experience developing relationships between organizations and their constituents. His expertise has been utilized across a diverse group of brands, both non for profit, and for profit. Specific brand experience includes: Timberland, Disney, The Mills Corporation, NAACP, Baltimore Health Department, Maryland Health Department, Kennedy Krieger Institute, CVS Caremark’s Project Health, Safe Streets Baltimore and many other brands.

James and his team have initiated several programs, including the ground breaking Gulf Spay/Neuter Campaign and HSUS’ Pets for Life, which helped reshape animal welfare, while simultaneously advocating for more diversity and inclusion throughout the field.

He has also played an integral part in AWO organization’s projects, including HSUS’ Adopters Welcome, Outdoor Cats Research, Stop Puppy Mills and Spayathon, as well as Best Friends Animal Society’s Outreach Action Team, Maddie’s Fund, and SPCA of Texas’ Let’s Fix This Campaign.