Important Memo from the DEI Committee re: Conference Masterclass

Memo to: Animal Welfare CEOs, Executive Directors & Animal Services Department Directors
From: Amanda Arrington and Johnny L. Jenkins, Jr., DEI Committee Co-Chairs



Thank you to everyone who has been on the DEI journey with us since the committee started in 2019. It’s been overwhelming at times, it’s been uncomfortable at times, but it’s necessary and essential. As an industry, we have an obligation and responsibility to do this work in order to dismantle the systems and processes that perpetuate exclusion and inequity.

As we are at an important inflection point in the journey together, we are inviting animal welfare organizations’ top leaders to join us for a masterclass, Leading the DEI Journey: How CEOs Navigate This Culture Change, to be held on Friday, November 19, the last day of The Fall Conference. You’ll work together as a cohort of committed leaders to engage in self-reflection, identify core skills you’ll need to model, and come away with key strategies and techniques you’ll use to lead DEI efforts in your organization.

Separate registration and fee are required for this special four-hour session, which is limited to 75 seats. Learn more about the masterclass and how to apply for a seat.

We’ll see you there…

Amanda Arrington, HSUS, Pets for Life

Johnny L. Jenkins, Jr., The JyOba! Project


Health & safety update: The Association is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely, and is prepared to make whatever changes necessary to deliver this Masterclass in the safest manner possible, including moving to a virtual format. So please know this event is happening this fall “rain or shine”—and if you’d like to join us on the DEI journey, be sure to apply for your seat by Wednesday, September 15.


Johnny L. Jenkins, Jr. is an experienced grantmaking professional with expertise in strategic grantmaking and program management. As founder and managing director of The JyOba! Project, he is dedicated to providing creative and critical thought leadership to projects that advance racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in the pursuit of a more just and equitable world. He has managed multimillion-dollar grant portfolios to advance racial and economic justice, LGBT equality, and animal welfare. As a member of PetSmart Charities’ Relationship Management Team, Johnny was responsible for managing the adoption grant portfolio for the Eastern United States and Puerto Rico. Johnny also provides leadership to multiple Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives in Animal Welfare including PetSmart Charities (Racial Equity Advisory Team Co-Lead), The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement (DEI Advisory Committee Co-Lead), and the Human Animal Support Services (HASS) Project DEI Advisory Committee.

As Senior Director of Pets for Life, The Humane Society of the United States, Amanda 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. Amanda previously served as a lobbyist and North Carolina State Director for HSUS, and spent three years as the chair of the Durham County Animal Control Advisory Committee. Amanda has received numerous awards for her community outreach work, including the prestigious American Veterinary Medical Association Humane Award in 2018. She currently serves as co-chair of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement’s OnPOINT committee on increasing diversity in animal welfare.


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