A Message from RedRover’s President and CEO, Nicole Forsyth

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, and so many more.

Black lives matter. 

At RedRover, we have been listening and learning together as a team and reflecting on ways we can better embody racial equity and justice as an organization.

We will do better at including and serving Black communities and elevating Black voices, especially youth. 

We will do better at identifying and addressing areas where systemic racism impacts our organization and the broader networks in which we work.

We will do better at asking tough questions and having tough conversations to challenge our thinking and take effective action, beginning with developing more nonprofit partnerships specifically looking at social equity and how to elevate Black voices in animal welfare to bring Black leadership into the organization. 

Black lives matter. 

All lives matter vs. Black lives matter within animal welfare and the animal protection movement

We are glad animals’ lives matter to so many because it is RedRover’s mission to help animals in crisis and bring more awareness to the value of animals in our lives and the powerful bonds we can share. That said, we are sensitive to the political context in which the phrase “all lives matter” diminishes the importance and significance of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, so we do not use this language. 

What does it mean to be “antiracist?”

Becoming antiracist requires examining policies and practices entrenched in established ways of doing things that in being unexamined have perpetuated the exclusion and oppression of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. Being antiracist requires changing systems and policies that may have gone unexamined for a long time in an attempt to achieve equality.

Why we are committed to becoming an antiracist organization

RedRover, like so many organizations in the United States, has not adequately examined our workplace policies and processes or how we do our program work for ways in which we are unknowingly perpetuating systemic racism. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating the suffering of people and animals in crisis, we are committed to uncovering ways in which our work has unintentionally excluded groups and communities of people, and we are committed to implementing strategies to establish equity to the systems in which we operate.

Update to our antiracist work as an organization:  September 30, 2020

Since releasing the statement above, all RedRover staff have continued learning and listening to help guide our antiracist work and have been individually and collectively grappling with the ways in which we have historically been complicit in systemic racism. At the same time, we formed an Antiracist Working Group in order to provide guidance and support for establishing an antiracist workplace culture, to recommend strategies for implementing antiracist changes within our programs and operations, and to update outreach and recruitment processes to bring BIPOC voices into the top leadership structures of the organization.

Specifically the goals of the Antiracist Working Group include:

  • Enhancing our knowledge of antiracism as individuals
  • Examining and analyzing implicit biases and barriers within our programs to be more inclusive
  • Identifying systems of oppression and/or omission within our programs and organizational structures as a nonprofit animal welfare organization
  • Examining RedRover’s role within the field of animal welfare with regards to systemic racism/racial bias and how we can lead in dismantling systems of oppression

The working group has identified and hired a trainer, Dr. A. Breeze Harper, who will lead the entire staff in a training program, entitled “Leveraging Diversity Challenges for Equity, Inclusivity and Social Impact.” This  training will take place in November.

Based on training and guidance, we will initiate an Action Plan by early 2021.

We understand this work will be hard, but we know it is vitally important. We welcome our supporters, volunteers, and followers to join us on this journey of learning and unlearning. Please feel free to reach out with questions or ideas at info@redrover.org.