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Moving Beyond Bias with CARE

A discussion with animal welfare leader and president of Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE), James Evans. James talks about how the animal welfare movement got to where we are today and how we move forward.

Hosted by José Ocaño, Senior Director of Culture and Talent and featuring Best Friends CEO, Julie Castle.


Intro- José Ocaño - 0:02
Julie Castle, Best Friends Animal Society - 2:35
James Evans, Care - 3:52
History, patterns of oppression, duality between animal welfare and human rights - 10:38
Country in transition - 6:37
Adoption gaps - 19:15



James’ top suggestion for change in animal welfare - 44:00
How do we overcome the history of bias in our movement and its impact on our shelter relationships? How do we lay the groundwork to overcome that? - 57:00
How can we bring more people of color and other minority groups into animal welfare leadership work? - 59:49
Specifics of harm and how to not cause harm? "From the conversations I'm having with BIPPOC in animal welfare, it's being made clear to me that we're causing harm to the very few BIPOC that we currently do engage with." - 1:01:30
How do we get AW funders to support community-driven community? - 1:05:30
When we look at racism as a systemic issue of society which affects education, how do we ensure that the POC who are on our staff can receive the training they need in order to be successful in management+ positions while fulfilling our business needs? - 1:10:00

James Evans

James Evans

President of 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.

Julie castle holding a muted tortie cat

Julie Castle

CEO, Best Friends Animal Society

Julie Castle was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah, a descendent of pioneers and entrepreneurs. Following magna cum laude graduation from Southern Utah University, Julie was headed for law school when she happened to stop by Best Friends while on vacation. The sanctuary, the no-kill ethic and the vision of the founders had a profound effect on her and inspired her to trade her lawyerly ambitions for a low-paying job as employee number 17 at Best Friends.

As the organization grew, in 2000, Julie went on to lead No More Homeless Pets in Utah, a statewide no-kill coalition led by Best Friends comprising 166 rescue organizations, animal control agencies and veterinarians. During her six-year tenure, shelter deaths were reduced by 50% statewide and Utah now has more no-kill communities than any other state in the country. Julie took on leadership of the organization’s fundraising efforts in 2014 and in subsequent years, fundraising grew by 48% to $130 million and membership grew by 30%. Over the years, Julie has championed the concept of organizations and municipalities joining forces to tackle the killing of dogs and cats in shelters. She organized the design, groundwork and coalition-building for NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles), an initiative that brought together the city of L.A. and more than 130 organizations. Launched in 2012, NKLA led L.A. from a save rate of 56% to 87% by the end of 2017. In 2016, Julie put a stake in the ground on behalf of Best Friends to take the entire country to no-kill by 2025. The NKLA initiative and Utah coalition are serving as groundbreaking and sustainable models for Best Friends’ lifesaving efforts.

In 2017, Julie was appointed to the position of Best Friends CEO, the first woman to lead a major national animal welfare organization. In 2018, she was celebrated by InStyle magazine as one of 50 Badass Women “who show up, speak up and get things done,” and in January 2019, she was selected by as one of “18 Women Who Inspired Us in 2018.” Recognized as a leader and voice of the national no-kill movement, Julie lives with her husband, Gregory, in Utah, where they run marathons and hike in southern Utah's red-rock wilderness. Julie also enjoys restoring historic homes, is an avid gardener and owns a pizza joint in Kanab, Utah.



  • Changing the Color of Our Movement blog by Julie Castle
  • Project Implicit tests by Harvard University