Updated October 20, 2023
Our Commitment to Antiracism & DEI
The animal training, behavioral care, and animal welfare industries are notoriously white and affluent. As our organization grows, we are committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire industry by continually working toward an environment that is anti-racist, accessible, LGBTQIA+ affirming, and neurodiversity affirming.
In an effort to provide informed, authentic leadership we commit to the following actions to dismantle challenges disproportionately faced by BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disability and other intersecting communities:
1. Actively seek out diverse voices and faces.
In our ongoing outreach initiatives to invite creators to contribute courses to our platform, we have focused on engaging a diverse range of individuals. Of the folks we have contacted to date, 76% are from BIPOC communities, 10% identify as LGBTQIA+, and 23% identify as neurodivergent. It is important to note that these percentages may surpass 100% due to the intersecting identities that some individuals hold. This data reflects our commitment to fostering inclusivity and amplifying underrepresented voices in our community.
2. Provide a platform for diverse voices and faces to create paid online courses, with all profit going to the creator(s).
We are dedicated to dismantling traditional capitalist models, in part by ensuring that creators receive equitable compensation for their invaluable contributions. We take care of all associated expenses, from software and hosting to promotion and sales management. This allows our creators to concentrate on their forte: crafting outstanding content that both inspires and educates. Here, course creators bear no financial burden when offering their courses. Instead, they have the autonomy to determine their own fees, receiving 100% of the proceeds while maintaining complete control over their intellectual property.
Although our course platform was recently launched, our commitment to fair compensation is evident. To date, our educational contributors have received an average of $261.71 per person for providing hour-long webinars.
3. Provide scholarships and sliding scale options for all internal paid deliverables including membership, events, etc.
64% of our membership, a significant majority, has gained access to our platform through scholarship or sliding scale plans, exemplifying our commitment to fostering accessibility and removing financial barriers to inclusion.
4. Recognize and celebrate marginalized communities in ways that benefit those communities, including regular donations to organizations selected by the membership.
We've introduced a line of merchandise with a pride theme, where 100% of the proceeds are dedicated to supporting the Trevor Project on a monthly basis. To date, we've proudly donated a total of $74.13. During Pride Month, we organized a raffle exclusively for our membership, featuring prizes thoughtfully curated from BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ small businesses.
While these contributions are meaningful, we acknowledge that they have not yet reach the levels we aspire to achieve. We are actively devising additional strategies to enhance the effectiveness of these initiatives with the ultimate goal of making a more substantial impact on various causes in the future.
5. Ensure all videos have accessible subtitles and speed adjustment settings.
6. Provide alt text for any images on social media, website or blog.
7. Translate our website and resources into multiple languages.
We've implemented a feature in the upper menu of our site that facilitates translation into multiple languages. These language selections have been determined in accordance with our primary analytics, and we are committed to further expanding these options in the future. This initiative aligns with our dedication to inclusivity and accessibility for a broader audience.
8. Promptly respond to and address requests from our membership regarding missing or lackluster accessibility features.
9. Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness within our membership and organization
10. Seek input and leadership from the most impacted regarding how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work and our membership, including what we can do to address them.
We've conducted live Zoom discussions with our members to delve into this subject matter, seeking input from those directly affected to inform our present and future endeavors. This ongoing dialogue underscores our commitment to inclusivity and our dedication to taking meaningful action based on diverse perspectives. We remain steadfast in continuing these conversations.
11. Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually seek both internal and external input.
12. Pursue cultural competency through substantive learning opportunities.
This month, we are reviewing Anti-Racist Pedagogy through the resources listed on "Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Action: First Steps" by Columbia University: https://ctl.columbia.edu/resources-and-technology/resources/anti-racist-pedagogy/
13. Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative data to measure and track incremental, measurable progress toward our diversity, inclusion, and equity goals.
14. Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented persons by connecting with others committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.
15. Operate on an anti-capitalist business model whenever possible while existing in a capitalist society.
We wholeheartedly prioritize purpose over profits, and this principle has been woven into our spending allocations since day one. Specifically, 43% of our budget has been allocated to essential expenses, 23% to support our valued education contributors, 17% to ensure effective administrative functions, and an additional 17% is earmarked for ongoing enhancements and unforeseen contingencies.