Earlier this month nonprofit vegan organization Encompass launched with the purpose of bringing more racial diversity to the vegan movement.
Encompass executive director Aryenish Birdie stated that “Encompass wants to strengthen our movement by making it accessible and positioning inclusion as a cornerstone principle, not only because it’s the right thing to do but because this will enable us to grow more quickly.”
Birdie compiled statistics that found that, in the U.S., only 11% of animal rights organizations were comprised of people of color (POC) – with only 8% of those in positions of leadership. Which does not reflect the 1/3 of the U.S. population (34%) that POC actually makes up.
Encompass has plans to initiate strategic campaigns aimed at involving communities of color, establish factory farmed animal protection organizations, and support POC in leadership roles. “If we want our collective mission of reducing suffering to take hold, we must reflect the country we are trying to change. We’ve come too far—and the animals need us too much—to take the risk of inaction,” Birdie stated.
The organization realizes that inclusion is huge to any movement. As Birdie stated, “we face the threat of good talent leaving our movement – or never joining our cause in the first place – because these smart, passionate advocates don’t see themselves represented in our movement’s leadership, boards, staff rosters, or as spokespeople for the animals.”
There is no more beautiful and impassioned sentiment than inclusion, so we as a team wish Encompass nothing but the best of luck!
How do you feel about Encompass’ mission? Are you on board?