Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Package

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The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is committed to action on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in animal welfare and we want you with us on this journey. As part of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Commitment to Action, The Association will continue offering resources and learning opportunities designed to further the eradication of systemic discrimination and racism in animal welfare.

Click on the Content tab to see what's included in the training package. We intend to add more content over time.

Read our blogs about DEI issues: book mark this page

  • The Roundtable: Community Relations During A Time of Unrest

    Product not yet rated Recorded On: 10/01/2020

    Barriers to community engagement isn’t a new challenge for animal services but a global pandemic and social unrest bring added burden to these essential employees. Hear from animal services leaders guiding their cities through a difficult climate: Dallas, Greensboro, and Los Angeles.

    Barriers to community engagement isn’t a new challenge for animal services, but a global pandemic and social unrest bring added burden to these essential employees. Hear from animal services and TNR leaders who are guiding their cities through a difficult climate: Atlanta, Dallas, Greensboro (NC), and Los Angeles.

    This exclusive roundtable conversation will explore the challenges animal support service professionals are currently facing with a special emphasis on BIPOC officers and staff. Learn from their experience so you can engage your community in conversations of equity and justice and provide support with kindness and fairness.  Questions from the audience will follow the roundtable discussion. 

    The Roundtable Moderators:
    • Jim Tedford, President and CEO, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement 
    • Gabrielle Chapman, Senior Analyst, Social Justice, Pets for Life, The Humane Society of the United States

    The Roundtable Guests:
    • Allison Cardona – Deputy Director, Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control, CA
    • Ed Jamison – Director, Animal Services, Dallas, Texas
    • Jorge Ortega – Director, Guilford County Animal Services, NC
    • BONUS Guest: Sterling "TrapKing" Davis, TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions, Atlanta, GA

    This roundtable has been pre-approved for 1 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credit.

    If you would like to watch more content about diversity, equity, and inclusion, please register for our free Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training Package.

     Read our blogs about DEI issues: book mark this page.

    ​Allison Cardona

    Deputy Director, Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control, CA

    Allison Cardona has been a Deputy Director of South County Operations for the Department since March 2017. As Deputy Director of South County, Allison oversees the Carson/Gardena, Downey and Baldwin Park Animal Care Centers along with special programs such as behavior and enrichment. Prior to joining the County of Los Angeles, Allison spent over 13 years as a program director for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). She holds a B.S. in Public Affairs from Empire State College. Allison is dedicated to keeping pets and people forever together, removing barriers so pet owners have access to care and services. Allison serves as the department’s liaison to the County of Los Angeles Homeless Initiative, helping to integrate pet-friendly services into service planning and delivery. 

    Sterling Davis

    Founder, TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions

    Sterling “TrapKing” Davis is a well traveled, ex-military, music and cat enthusiast that has always loved entertaining and interacting with people. Becoming vegetarian after visiting a slaughterhouse at 12 years old, the love and respect for animals has always been there but the relationship with cats grew to be more special. I was always the only guy that either had or wanted another cat growing up. Shelter work was new for me. I started cleaning litter boxes and learning more about cats until I was eventually promoted to a TNR/Outreach position where I was able to really add to my love and knowledge of cats. In Dekalb, Georgia, I would work for over 3 years educating, assisting, and doing outreach for TNR and community cat management. A career working with cats? Why would I ever do anything else?

    Ed Jamison

    Director of Dallas Animal Services, City of Dallas

    Dallas has the third largest intake in the United States, with over 39,000 dogs and cats coming into their care in 2019. Ed Jamison has been tasked with increasing public safety by getting loose animals off the streets, while at the same time increasing positive outcomes. To accomplish that, Jamison is leading a staff of around 220 employees, maximizing relationships with the rescue community, rebuilding the volunteer base and instituting new, progressive programming. Prior to coming to Dallas, Jamison was the Chief Animal Control Officer for the City of Cleveland, Ohio, but he entered the animal care and control world in the mid-2000s while he was the animal warden for the City of Garfield Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. In his time serving Cleveland, Ed made a push to redefine the way animal control functions and re-brand the public’s perception of the industry, along with the perception of pit-bull-type dogs.

    Jorge Ortega

    Director, Guilford County Animal Services, North Carolina

    Jorge Ortega iscurrently the Animal Services Director for the Guilford County Animal Servicesin Greensboro, NC. Most recently he held the position of Senior Director ofOperations where he was responsible for overseeing the daily operations of theASPCA’s Adoption Center, Kitten Nursery and Canine Annex Rehabilitation &Enrichment Center located in New York City.

    Jorge has alsoserved as Vice President of Operations for two progressive animal welfareorganizations, the Houston SPCA and the Humane Society of Charlotte. He beganhis career at the Houston SPCA where he held many positions. As VP ofOperations he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the shelter. Atthe Humane Society of Charlotte he provided leadership and support to theshelter, 2 high-volume spay/neuter clinics and one remote animal adoptioncenter. He worked to build strategic partnerships and community programs thathelped decrease animal intake. Jorge played an active role in the CharlotteASPCA Community Partnership in an effort to save more at-risk and homeless petsthrough collaboration between the Humane Society of Charlotte andCharlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control.

    Jorge alsoworked for a national animal welfare organization where he served as theManager of Disaster Services and worked closely with emergency managementofficials across the country. He also held the position of Regional Director ofShelter Outreach for Pethealth, Inc. where he was responsible for maintainingrelationships with animal welfare organizations in Texas, Louisiana andMississippi with supporting them with animal management and care programs.

    Gabrielle Chapman

    Senior Social Justice Analyst, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

    Gabrielle Chapman is the former Executive Director of Call to Action for Racial Equality, West Virginia’s first professional statewide racial equity coalition. As HSUS’ Pets for Life Senior Analyst Social Justice, Gabrielle will lend her skill set to facilitate complex conversations ranging from criminal justice reform to racial and economic justice in the animal welfare world. She is a 2018–2019 Soros Justice Fellow with the Open Society Foundation and serves as a Board of Director for West Virginia’s Center on Budget and Policy and West Virginia Women's Health Center. Chapman holds a BS in Applied Biology from Russell Sage College. During her college years, she interned at the U.S. Department of Defense, was an assistant with Sage College’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, and volunteered with the American Friends Service Committee.

    Jim Tedford, CAWA

    President & CEO, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

    Jim Tedford accepted his dream job when he joined The Association as President & CEO in June of 2015.  But Jim is no stranger to the organization.  He has been a member for nearly 30 years and served as our Board Chairman some twenty years ago.  Jim has been actively engaged in the animal welfare movement for more than 34 years having served as CEO for animal sheltering organizations in New York, Louisiana and Tennessee.  He served as a regional director for The Humane Society of the United States and then spent six years providing direct response marketing services to animal welfare organizations. Jim presents frequently at national and regional conferences on various animal welfare issues, organizational development and not-for-profit management. 

  • Commitment to Action: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Animal Welfare (Panel Discussion)

    Includes Credits Recorded On: 06/16/2020

    Listen to a recording of a bold and honest conversation with a panel of animal welfare leaders already implementing change.

    Amanda Arrington (HSUS) and Johnny Jenkins (PetSmart Charities) joined forces in October 2019 to lead The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee. These two animal welfare leaders immediately began working to dismantle barriers to advance DEI efforts in animal welfare. Bolstered by The Association’s Board of Directors' commitment to action, the goal is to coordinate a North American leadership summit resulting in a doctrine dedicated to eradicating institutional structures that maintain systemic disparities in animal welfare. A strong and committed intersectional pipeline of advocates and leaders will be critical to the sustainability and evolution of this work. How do we stay vigilant, avoid complacency, and continue to challenge ourselves to advance in this work? We start with a bold and honest conversation at the 2020 Spring Conference with a panelist of animal welfare leaders already implementing change. 

    This session is approved for
    • CAWA CEs

    This panel discussion was recorded during the Spring Conference for Animal Welfare 2020. Learn about the full conference recording package. 

    And check out the free Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Package which includes this recording.

    Amanda Arrington - Panel Facilitator

    Senior Director of Pets for Life, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

    With Pets For Life, Arrington guides a social justice-driven approach to create equity in and access to pet resources and information for people in underserved communities. Under her leadership the program has been implemented in over 50 markets across the United States and is working to make companion animal welfare a more just and inclusive movement. Arrington previously served as a lobbyist and North Carolina State Director for HSUS., served three years as the chair of the Durham County Animal Control Advisory Committee and on the board of the Durham Interneighborhood Council. Amanda has received numerous awards for her community outreach work, including the prestigious American Veterinary Medical Association Humane Award in 2018. Arrington currently serves as co-chair of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement’s OnPOINT committee on increasing diversity in animal welfare.

    Johnny Jenkins - Panel Facilitator

    Associate Relationship Manager, PetSmart Charities

    Responsible for managing the adoptions grant portfolio for animal welfare organizations along the United States’ east coast and Puerto Rico, Jenkin’s mission is simple – find homes for homeless pets. He’s experienced in strategic grant-making and program management. As a program director at a large community center in Detroit, Jenkins successfully wrote grants raising approximately $750K to support critical human service programs. He also has an organizing and grant making background in social justice and advocacy in the LGBT Equality movement. Currently, Jenkins currently serves as co-chair of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement’s OnPOINT committee on increasing diversity in animal welfare.

    Gabrielle Chapman

    Senior Social Justice Analyst, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

    Gabrielle Chapman is the former Executive Director of Call to Action for Racial Equality, West Virginia’s first professional statewide racial equity coalition. As HSUS’ Pets for Life Senior Analyst Social Justice, Gabrielle will lend her skill set to facilitate complex conversations ranging from criminal justice reform to racial and economic justice in the animal welfare world. She is a 2018–2019 Soros Justice Fellow with the Open Society Foundation and serves as a Board of Director for West Virginia’s Center on Budget and Policy and West Virginia Women's Health Center. Chapman holds a BS in Applied Biology from Russell Sage College. During her college years, she interned at the U.S. Department of Defense, was an assistant with Sage College’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, and volunteered with the American Friends Service Committee.

    Ed Jamison

    Director of Dallas Animal Services, City of Dallas

    Dallas has the third largest intake in the United States, with over 39,000 dogs and cats coming into their care in 2019. Ed Jamison has been tasked with increasing public safety by getting loose animals off the streets, while at the same time increasing positive outcomes. To accomplish that, Jamison is leading a staff of around 220 employees, maximizing relationships with the rescue community, rebuilding the volunteer base and instituting new, progressive programming. Prior to coming to Dallas, Jamison was the Chief Animal Control Officer for the City of Cleveland, Ohio, but he entered the animal care and control world in the mid-2000s while he was the animal warden for the City of Garfield Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. In his time serving Cleveland, Ed made a push to redefine the way animal control functions and re-brand the public’s perception of the industry, along with the perception of pit-bull-type dogs.

    Jose Sandoval

    Commissioner for the Department of Los Angeles Animal Services

    Known as a proponent on issues of health, safety, and animal advocacy serving in public service roles in the Los Angeles Area, in 2012 Sandoval founded the Latino Alliance for Animal Care coalition to educate and empower the Latino community about animal welfare. Sandoval's interest in working on behalf of animals began with the adoption of his German Shepherd/Collie mix, Lucky, from the East Valley Animal Shelter after the dog was abandoned by four previous owners. Today, the bond between Lucky and Sandoval is inseparable. From that experience, he continues to build his network as a resource to help other companion animals find loving homes.

  • Interacting with Increasingly Diverse Communities

    Product not yet rated Includes Credits

    The speakers will de-mystify LGBTQI communities, along with identify how to restfully handle customer service interactions, field interviews, pat downs, arrests, and report writing.

    In 2018, California’s Governor Brown signed a bill which requires P.O.S.T certified training and guidelines regarding sexual orientation and gender identity for all peace officers. While most Animal Control and Humane Officers do not fall under the P.O.S.T. training requirements, they are still out in the community dealing with the same diverse communities as law enforcement. Shelter personnel also interact with and serve the same community; however, rarely do we see training at animal conferences to help our staff better understand and interact with the myriad of cultures and communities coming through the shelter doors. 

    We will focus on demystifying LGBTQI and other communities, along with identifying how to handle customer service interactions, field interviews, pat downs, arrests, and report writing in a way that will help attendees provide respectful service while upholding department and professional integrity.

    This session is approved for
    • CAWA CEs
    • Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) CEs toward ACO CE requirements per Ch. 829 of the Texas Health and Safety Code
    • NACA CEs


    This session was recorded during the Spring Conference for Animal Welfare 2020. Learn about the full conference recording package.

    And check out the free Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Package which includes this recording.

    Jace Huggins

    Chief Animal Control Officer, City of Sacramento–Front Street Shelter

    Jace Huggins Currently the Chief Animal Control Officer for the City of Sacramento, Jace has worked most pet-related jobs in his career, from retail pet stores to being an Intensive Care Unit Technician at the renowned UC Davis Small Animal Teaching Hospital. Jace loves working with his District Attorney and the Sacramento Animal Cruelty Task Force on cruelty cases and educating his regional team.

    Michele Gigante

    Police Sergeant, Sacramento Police Department

    Sergeant Gigante has been a police officer for 21 years and supervises the Sacramento Police Department’s Research, Training and Development In-Service Unit. In her role she develops and organizes training for all SPD Officers. She also develops and assists in the implementation of training as it relates to LGBTQ+ issues. Sgt. Gigante has been SPD’s LGBTQ+ Liaison officer since the official implementation of the position at SPD, however, she has acted as the LGBTQ+ liaison for many years before that.

  • Breaking Down Barriers: Achieving Real Board Diversity and Inclusion

    Product not yet rated Recorded On: 02/04/2020

    We will discuss some of the structural, cultural, and emotional barriers that exist on nonprofit boards when it comes to building greater diversity among members.

    What’s holding your board back from achieving real diversity and inclusion? You’ve made the business case for diversity and your board understands its value. Yet your board continues to struggle to achieve meaningful and lasting diversity and inclusion. Whether you face challenges with recruiting the right talent, heightening their engagement, and/ or retaining and preparing diverse candidates for leadership roles, you know that you need to do something different to reach your diversity goals.

    We will discuss some of the structural, cultural, and emotional barriers that exist on nonprofit boards when it comes to building greater diversity among members. We will walk through the steps to break through these barriers along three dimensions for sustainable board diversity and inclusion through the highlighted examples. 


    The original version of this session was recorded during the Fall Conference for Animal Welfare 2019. You might be interested in the The Association Conference Highlights Package: Fall 2019 which includes this recording plus four videos filmed live at the Fall Conference 2019.

    This recording is also part of the free Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Package.


    This webinar recording has been pre-approved for 1 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credit.

    Rena Henderson Mason

    President, Bold Agenda

    Rena Henderson Mason, Chief Engagement Officer of Bold Agenda, a nonprofit consulting practice focused on coaching and training leaders, strategic planning, and board development. Rena has an MBA from Harvard Business School and Bachelor’s in Finance/International Management from Georgetown University. She is an ICF Certified coach and BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer.

  • 07/01/20 Communicating in a Divided America

    Includes Credits Recorded On: 07/01/2020

    Equip your organization with the tools your staff, volunteers, and board need to listen thoughtfully and communicate effectively with supporters who span the political and social spectrum.

    It’s no secret that our nation is deeply divided along political and social lines. This is especially true right now. These divisions make it increasingly difficult for animal welfare organizations to develop messages that appeal to people on both sides of the divide.

    While most organizations have missions that should appeal to liberals, conservatives, and everyone in between, it’s easy for messages to be delivered in a way that appeals to one side and not the other.  

    Join us for a session that will equip your organization with the tools your staff, volunteers, and board need to listen thoughtfully and communicate effectively with supporters who span the political and social spectrum.  Participants will learn how to: 

    • Identify and speak to the shared values of internal and external audiences, including potential supporters, regardless of their political or social ideology
    • Assess your existing communications to find language and imagery that turns off those on either side of the ideological divide
    • Eliminate jargon and develop direct, accessible communications that connect with shared values
    • Reach key audiences who are either unaware of or turned off by your existing messaging

    This webinar has been pre-approved for 1 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credit.

    Peter Panepento

    Philanthropic Practice Leader, Turn Two Communications

    Peter Panepento founded Turn Two Communications, a full-service communications and PR firm that specializes in working with nonprofits and foundations. Peter spent nearly two decades in journalism, including more than a decade covering the nonprofit world at The Chronicle of Philanthropy. He is co-author of Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits.