Diversity and Inclusion February Events

In celebration of Black History Month and to kick off the scholarship fund, CARE will be hosting weekly talks with a panel of African American professionals, including New York Giants player Logan Ryan, who will discuss the issues they face inside and outside the animal welfare industry.

CARE invites everyone to join these conversations, led by our Chief Executive Officer James Evans. In lieu of a registration fee, the public is asked to donate to the new #CAREvetFund.

All links are on CARE’s Facebook events page. You must pre-register. Speakers are subject to change.

Week 1

Thursday, February 4 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST

Navigating Business While Black in a Time of Turbulence


Uva Coles, Inclusiva

Prerecorded. Live Q & A


Week 2

Thursday, February 11 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST

Diverse Workforce Creates Unique Solutions


Logan Ryan, RARF Founder and CEO and NFL Cornerback, New York Giants

Akisha Townsend Eaton, Animal Legal Defense Fund


Week 3

Wednesday, February 17 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST

The Power of Animals: A look into Mental Health and the Animal Bond


Noah Haislah, @NoahandMilo and Personal Trainer

Candace Croney, PhD, Professor, Animal Behavior and Well-being, Director, Center for Animal Welfare Science


Week 4

Tuesday, February 23 from 7 to 8 p.m. EST

Pathways to Veterinary School


Dr. Tierra Price,  DVM, MPH (she/her/hers) Founder, BlackDVM Network, LLC

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. Ashley T. Randall DVM, Owner and Veterinarian at West End Animal Wellness Center


Why are veterinarians 90% white? It’s time to be more inclusive and support people of color

Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE) is proud to announce a bold 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 and 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, announced today they will lead 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.

Dr. Blackwell’s son Michael followed in his father’s footsteps and was one of four students to integrate Gray High School in Idabel, Okla. CARE recognizes the legacy of this family and the importance of access and awareness. Dr. Blackwell is the first second-generation graduate of Tuskegee’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He is now the Director of Pet Health Equity at the University of Tennessee and the 2020 recipient of the Avanzino Leadership Award. 

*About Maddie’s Fund

Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded nearly $250 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie’s Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share lifesaving ideas. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility.




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