Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Ambassador Program September 2024

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Includes Multiple Live Events. The next is on 08/20/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)

  • Register
    • Animal Welfare Professional Member - Free!
    • Student Member - Free!
    • Industry Partner Member - Free!
    • Learning Member - Free!
    • Industry Partner - Non-Member - Free!

Phoenix, Arizona Cohort, September 4-6, 2024

The DEI Ambassador Program encompasses pre-work, a virtual orientation meeting, an in-person 3-day training, two (post-training) virtual learning sessions, and an opportunity for individual coaching.

Participants will gain knowledge and awareness of the importance of DEI in animal welfare, and skills for presenting on DEI to colleagues in the field and navigating challenging conversations. This program is cohort-based, bringing together a group of participants to learn with and from each other as a community.

Ambassadors will receive learning resources and facilitation guides customized to address the specific DEI needs of the field identified in the 2021 State of DEI in Animal Welfare Audit. Participants will help their animal welfare organizations continue to serve as leaders of DEI in the animal welfare community overall and chart the course for other AWOs to follow.

Learning Objectives:

  • Deepen knowledge and skills related to DEI and animal welfare.
  • Develop skills for leading trainings or presentations on DEI.
  • Learn tools for facilitating challenging classroom situations.
  • Practice leading DEI conversations and training activities for animal welfare workforce.

 Important Dates:

  • Applications Close:  July 23, 2024
  • Orientation:  August 20, 2024 12pm-1pm, ET
  • In-Person Training: Wednesday September 4-6, 2024 (travel 9/3 and 9/7) - Phoenix, AZ (Arizona Humane Society)
  • Webinar 1: Tuesday September 24 2024 12p-1pm ET
  • Webinar 2: Tuesday October 22, 2024 12pm-1pm ET 
  • Coaching Deadline: Friday October 25, 2024

Watch an Intro Video


- Jasmin M. Robinson, Director of DEI Initiatives, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement
- Maria Morukian, Founder & President, MSM Global Consulting

All participants will enjoy full scholarships, including travel and accommodations. Click on the REGISTER button above to enroll in this program and complete the scholarship application.

Prerequisite Criteria:

  • Basic knowledge and skills related to DEI.
  • Can define core concepts and their importance for animal welfare.
  • Has some experience engaging in constructive conversations with people who come from different backgrounds, ideologies, and perspectives.
  • Has an understanding of how biases can impact decisions and actions.
  • Experience in public speaking, training, presentations preferred.
  • Availability to participate fully in the pre and post program activities as well as the in-person training program.
  • Willingness and desire to facilitate a minimum of two DEI dialogues, activities or training sessions in their region within the first year of completing the program.
  • Represents an organization with a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within its ranks and in its community.

Required Commitments from Ambassadors:

  • Participate in program kickoff webinar.
  • Complete pre-work assignments prior to in-person training program.
  • Participate fully in a three day in-person program.
  • Participate in two follow up webinars.
  • Participate in a one hour 1:1 coaching session with DEI facilitator.

Commitments from Ambassadors’ Supervisors:

  • Provide the time necessary (8 hours or more) of time during work hours. for participants to complete pre-program assignments.
  • Provide travel and lodging funding for participants to engage in the 3-day program. Scholarship funds can be made available.
  • Provide a minimum 40 hours of professional development time for participants to engage in the program plus adequate travel time for participants to participate fullY for 3 full days.
  • Provide adequate time during work hours for group calls with cohort post-training.
  • Provide adequate work time (or 4 days) for participants to lead DEI training activities at your animal welfare organization or other AWOs in the region.

All participants will enjoy full scholarships, including travel and accommodations. Click on the REGISTER button above to enroll in this program and complete the scholarship application.

On the application, you will be asked to explain your interest in and experience with DEI, as well as an example of how you handled a conflict invovling a DEI issue.

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1.     What are the benefits of the program?

As of 12/2023, The Association's DEI Ambassador program has trained 74 ambassadors from four cohorts representing various animal welfare organizations throughout the nation since 2022. Participants receive education from skilled facilitators with expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion training, organizational culture, and professional development. Combined, they hold over 30 years of experience serving as thought partners to many industries, including non-profit, education, and government. 

Participants who complete the program gain a deeper understanding of the historic and systemic issues in the animal welfare profession through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. Additionally, they will receive training and resources to effectively lead a diversity, equity, and inclusion focused engagement at their shelter or organization. 

2.     Who is the program best suited for?

The Ambassador program is for anyone who acknowledges that inequities exist in the animal welfare profession and are seeking strategies to address it. Specifically, this program is geared towards participants who are prepared to examine how racism impacts the animal welfare profession. While we encourage participation from every level of your organization, people who serve on or chair committees (professional development, DEI, hiring), human resource professionals (hiring managers, supervisors), or executive leaders (CEOs, vice presidents, board chairs) have found this program beneficial to their development. However, this program is open to anyone interested in systemic change.

3.     Who is the program NOT suited for?

This program is not for anyone resistant to acknowledging that inequities exist in animal welfare. While we don’t expect you to know everything related to DEI, we hope you have an essential recognition of and interest in DEI-related topics. Additionally, this program requires deep work and reflection. If you are in the early stages of your diversity, equity, and inclusion learning journey, we encourage you to start with the resources available on The Association's website.

The short answer is yes. While participants aren’t expected to have formal training in diversity, equity, and inclusion, they will be expected to engage in conversations on different topics impacting the animal welfare profession. We highly encourage you to review the blog Six Takeaways About the State of DEI in Animal Welfare for more information on the most recent workplace challenges; a copy of the full report is also at the bottom of the blog page.   

5.     How much does the program cost?

At this time, travel, food, lodging, and materials are covered and reimbursable through The Association’s partnership with various donor sponsorships. Hotels, meals, and materials are provided upfront. Travel and three dinners are reimbursed. Participants must provide receipts for reimbursement and may not exceed the maximum amount outlined in the application.

6.     Do I have to attend the entire program?

Yes. We recognize the time commitment for this program and encourage you to make the best-informed decision based on the realities of your job responsibilities. This is an all-expense-paid opportunity, and we expect full participation in the orientation, three-day in-person program, post-training webinars. Your coaching session is optional, but highly encouraged.

7.     What is the total time commitment for the program?

This depends on how deeply you are willing to take your learning. However, we expect full participation in the orientation  (1 hour), prework (at least 8 hours), three-day in-person training, post-training sessions (two hours), plus at least 4 hours of work leading a DEI engagement on behalf of your organization within one year of completing the in-person training. This can vary, but we typically see this as leading training and facilitations, DEI committee work, or addressing exclusionary workplace culture in policies, employee engagement, or meetings.

8.     When and where are the programs held?

The 2024 DEI Ambassador Program dates are:

  • April 9-11, Atlanta, GA
  • June 4-6, Denver, CO
  • September 4-6, Phoenix, AZ

We encourage people to arrive a day early to be fully prepared and ready to go for the duration of the program. Additionally, most participants return home after the third day, which ends around 3 pm local time.

9.     How many people can be in the program?

Each cohort has a maximum of 20 participants.

10. What happens when the program is completed?

After participants complete the in-person training, they will officially be Alumni and have access to the virtual space in The Network, which is The Association’s online engagement platform. You’ll be able to connect with other alumni, share resources, and get updates on special offers and training exclusive to Alumni Ambassadors. 

Maria Morukian

President and Founder

MSM Global Consulting

Maria Morukian, the president of MSM Global Consulting, has twenty years of experience as a facilitator, coach and consultant on leadership, diversity, equity, inclusion, and intercultural competence. Maria hosts a podcast on critical DEI issues called Culture Stew. She is author of the book, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Trainers: Fostering DEI in the Workplace and co-author of ATD’s Handbook for Training and Talent Development.

Jasmin Robinson

Director of DEI Initiatives

The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

Jasmin M. Robinson is The Association's Director of DEI Initiatives. She is also the CEO and Founder of I.D.E.A.L. Education, LLC., and a consultant with MSM Global Consulting. She has over 10 years of experience leading efforts to foster and maintain inclusive work environments that welcome, embrace, empower, and celebrate people. She is actively pursuing a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership at Indiana State University.


Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
08/20/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes
08/20/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes
In-person Training Slides
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Post-training virtual learning session 1
09/24/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes
09/24/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes
Post-training virtual learning session 2
10/22/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes
10/22/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes