Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Progress Report
At Mercy For Animals, we stand united in support of Black Lives Matter principles and against systemic racism and anti-Blackness. In June, we made nine commitments to guide our evolution into an antiracist organization. Below is a summary of our progress.
Launched Our Global DEIJ Committee
The committee has designed, in partnership with Critical Diversity Solutions, and distributed an organization-wide DEIJ literacy survey to help us gain a better understanding of our current collective knowledge of and familiarity with DEIJ principles and practices. This will enable us to design, build, and offer tailored learning and growth opportunities to help increase our DEIJ literacy in meaningful and effective ways.
The committee sent nine team members, including from Brazil, Latin America, the United States, and Canada, to the Encompass Foundational DEI Institute, a transformative two-day training on DEI and racial equity in the farmed animal protection movement.
Revamped Hiring Processes
- Continued to review, assess, and improve our talent acquisition and recruiting processes and tools to ensure an inclusive and equitable hiring experience that minimizes any potential for personal or unconscious bias
- Reviewed and updated our DEIJ and antiracism commitments on our jobs page and in our job descriptions and posts
- Started developing the concept and design of a What It’s Like video for our career page to highlight DEIJ values at Mercy For Animals
- Researched, identified, and engaged with several new job boards with a focus on diversity and inclusion
- Designed and launched a new board-member recruitment process with a focus on proven experience in and dedication to antiracism and DEIJ principles and practices
Stood with Marginalized Communities
- Mercy For Animals joined forces with Forward Latino and the League of United Latin American Citizens on our Meat-Free in Solidarity campaign.
- Plants to the People New Jersey partnered with more than 10 vegan businesses to provide 1,800 meals to marginalized communities in Newark and Camden.
- Mercy For Animals made nine commitments to supporting racial justice and becoming a more antiracist organization. A key component of our first commitment is to partner with and invest in Black activists and their communities. To this end, we are launching a pilot grant program that will distribute funds to U.S.-based Black activists working to build a compassionate plant-based food system—work that both reduces animal suffering and helps communities thrive. Stay tuned for more information!
Supported DEIJ Initiatives
- Collaborated with an indigenous community activist in support of our new lawsuit challenging the USDA’s bird flu response plan and the department’s failure to consider the impact of the plan on BIPOC and low-income communities
- Participated in and supported DEIJ initiatives in professional associations of which we are members, including the American Bar Association
- Conducted a training in Latin America about anticarceral veganism and intersectionality
- Planned and implemented steps to create a more diverse and inclusive U.S. and Brazilian legal internship program
Our public engagement team created a six-month content plan to educate supporters on key intersections of racism and animal suffering in our food system, such as environmental racism, worker exploitation, and food deserts. We’ve also contributed video content pro bono in support of BIPOC-led projects:
- Pandemic of Injustice: A look at how factory farms hurt rural communities, including the Lumbee tribe in North Carolina
- A profile on Veggie Mijas, a collective of women and nonbinary vegans promoting plant-based eating, including operating free community fridges during the pandemic
We’ve also published several DEIJ-related blog posts and led social media campaigns and promotional offers:
- Blog post: “How the Meat Industry Thrives on Environmental Racism”
- Blog post: “Our Food System Is Built on Racism. You Can Help Change It.”
- Blog post: “Indigenous Scholar Shares How Factory Farms Harm Poor Communities”
- Blog post: “To Change the World, We Must Believe People Can Change”
- Blog post: “Mercy For Animals Joins ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ Campaign”
- Blog post: “Black VegFest Founder Explains How Non-Black Vegans Can Be Better Allies”
- Blog post: “They’re Trying to Kill Us: An Interview with Badass Vegan John Lewis”
- Blog post: “Exclusive Interview: Chef Babette Davis Talks New Live Show”
- Haile Thomas IG takeover and book giveaway