Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE) is celebrating Black History Month with a new initiative and a series of events to help animal loving people of color pursue their dreams of helping cats, dogs and other living creatures.
CARE is partnering with the Black DVM Network, the National Association for Black Veterinarians and several other animal welfare organizations to raise money that will start a seed fund for scholarships for African American veterinary students.
Maddie’s Fund, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, is leading off the fundraising effort with a $50,000 grant to start the endowment.
The effort also has the support of New York Giants Cornerback Logan Ryan, who himself is passionate about diversity in animal welfare and has his own foundation called RARF, or the Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation.
The scholarship initiative comes at a critical time, as out of more than one hundred thousand veterinarians in the United States, 90 percent are white, less than two percent are Hispanic and almost none are Black.
The scholarship will be named after the late Dr. Jodie G. Blackwell, a veterinary trailblazer who graduated in the second class of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University in 1950. He opened a thriving private practice in Southeast Oklahoma while working relentlessly to advance civil rights. He was also appointed to the Oklahoma Civil Rights Commission by the Governor. Dr. Blackwell continued his private practice for 18 years and joined the faculty at Tuskegee University, where he spent the last 25 years of his professional life.
CARE will host weekly talks with a panel of African American professionals who will discuss the issues they face inside and outside the animal welfare industry.
The talks are open to the public. In lieu of a registration fee, CARE is asking participants to donate to the new CAREvetFund.
All links are on CARE’s Facebook events page. You must pre-register.
Thursday, February 4 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST
Navigating Business While Black in a Time of Turbulence
Speaker: Uva Coles, Inclusiva
Prerecorded. Live Q & A
Thursday, February 11 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST
Diverse Workforce Creates Unique Solutions
Speakers: Logan Ryan, RARF Founder and CEO and NFL Cornerback, New York Giants, Akisha Townsend Eaton, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Wednesday, February 17 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST
The Power of Animals: A look into Mental Health and the Animal Bond
Speakers: Noah Haislah, @NoahandMilo and Personal Trainer
Candace Croney, PhD, Professor, Animal Behavior and Well-being, Director, Center for Animal Welfare Science
Tuesday, February 23 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST
Pathways to Veterinary School
Dr. Hodges and Dr. Ferguson, Critter Fixers
Dr. Michael Blackwell, VM, MPH, FNAP, Director of Programs for Pet Health Equity at the Center for Behavioral Health Research at the University of Tennessee
Dr. Tierra Price, DVM, MPH (she/her/hers) Founder, BlackDVM Network, LLC