By Aryenish Birdie and Michelle Rojas-Soto | July 8, 2019

Encompass works to strengthen and broaden the animal protection movement by consulting with mission-aligned organizations to implement diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles. When policies, practices, procedures, and systems reflect DEI principles, all stakeholders feel a greater sense of belonging and become more resilient, engaged, and effective—as will the organizations they work in.

Incorporating DEI into an organization’s culture requires a paradigm shift. It requires everyone in the organization—from top to bottom, no matter how they racially identify—to be willing to grapple with how race affects our work for animals and our movement at-large. DEI work can take many forms and for some, it may be a brand new concept. We created this fact sheet to summarize how we help organizations realize their DEI goals.

Our commitment to organizations: Encompass empowers farmed animal protection organizations in the United States to incorporate DEI into their day-to-day operations, internal and external communications, and programmatic work. We offer concrete steps to engage more people of color in our movement, elevate talent into leadership roles, and create a workplace culture that fosters a sense of belonging for all. After project completion, organizations should be able to continue DEI work independently.


Phase One: Executive Alignment

Goal: We work with senior leadership to articulate why DEI is important to them personally and to the organization, we also identify where the organization has room for improvement.

Methods: 1) We gather information via 1-on-1 interviews and group conversations. 2) We use an assessment model that has been successfully implemented in the for-profit sector to look at the organization’s current state of DEI. 3) We coach leaders, helping them develop racial literacy and DEI competencies so they can also guide their team in this cultural transformation.

Deliverables: A DEI Vision Statement document which will clearly explain the leadership team’s motivations and values around DEI, clarify the vision and expectations, and help create buy-in from the rest of the staff. Leadership and staff will review and provide feedback on the proposed statement before it’s adopted.

Phase Two: Creating the “DEI Roadmap”

Goal: We work with staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders to create a DEI plan so everyone in the organization understands why DEI is needed to advance the cause of animal protection, their role in DEI work, and what accountability looks like to make this vision a reality.

Methods: We lead an ad hoc committee to facilitate staff dialogue on DEI to: a) assess current culture around race within the organization, and b) help develop the organization’s vision for DEI. The outcome of these conversations will dictate the direction of future work.

Deliverables: A DEI Roadmap that outlines the organization’s DEI vision, values, culture, recommended actions, and implementation timeline. The document will include a review of current processes, systems, and policies, and recommendations for how the organization can improve them to foster DEI.

Phase 3: DEI Roadmap Implementation

Goal: We will begin to work on the highest priority issues identified in Phase Two. By the time we complete our work, organizations will have the tools they need to continuously and independently advance DEI.

Methods: This phase is contingent on the needs identified in Phase Two. Examples include a review of the organization’s internal and external communications strategy, department processes, hiring and recruitment practices, and more.

Deliverables: We will support the organization in implementing the top-tier recommendations outlined in the DEI Roadmap document. Our ultimate goal is to help organizations create workplaces that materially demonstrate to people of color and to white people that inclusion and equity truly matter to the organization.

Final notes: 

  • We typically work with organizations for 11-24 months, in three consecutive phases. This level of commitment is ideal in order to build momentum. However, if needed, pauses between phases are acceptable.
  • Encompass does not offer or render legal services, legal advice, or HR policy advice. We offer organizations a DEI framework in assessing policies and practices.
  • We commend organizations that want to address the needs of multiple marginalized groups. We find that when multiple issue areas are discussed simultaneously, the race conversation tends to get lost. Therefore, Encompass focuses exclusively on racial equity at this time. Many of the tools we will explore together can be used to better address the needs of other marginalized groups.



All rights reserved