Seattle Humane supports and advocates for the safety of people and animals. We have witnessed the senseless loss of Black lives at the hands of law enforcement, and we raise our voices in solidarity with those protesting throughout our community. Black Lives Matter.
We are now looking inward at what we need to do to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive space at Seattle Humane for our staff, our volunteers and the public who seek our services.
We are thankful for the Pets For Life program (which seeks to repair the harmful effects of systemic racism and poverty) and local Seattle organizations who have helped us understand that, as an animal shelter, we can have a positive impact on so many communities if we do the work to be better. This movement will require all of us to listen, challenge, change, and act. We have much work to do in equitably serving our community, particularly Black community members. This commitment includes investing in our community outreach programs and lowering barriers to all services, while acknowledging and seeking to understand how animal shelters have and continue to perpetuate systemic racism.
We are committed to addressing the important diversity, equity and inclusion issues within our organization by endeavoring to better represent the communities we serve and reflect their values in everything we do. This first post is the beginning of many steps on this journey. Our commitment to being an anti-racist organization will not undo generations of systemic racism or advance needed police reforms, but it will make us a stronger organization and a stronger voice in the community.
Over the next few weeks, our staff and board will develop an actionable plan to increase community listening, expand training and learning opportunities, examine our diversity, equity and inclusion recruiting for staff, the board, and volunteers, and foster much deeper engagement.
Paula C. Littlewood John Wenstrup
Interim CEO Board Chair