October 26–27, I had the honor of co-hosting a two-day strategic planning workshop for seven BIPOC-led organizations working in food justice and animal advocacy, alongside one of my mentors, Leah Garcés. The idea for this workshop was inspired after Leah and I began meeting regularly for lunch to discuss our personal lives, social issues, and animal advocacy. I began to ask her advice on how to manage my nonprofit, APEX Advocacy, and these discussions helped me think more strategically about APEX and our strategy. Leah proposed organizing a workshop for the APEX team, and shortly after she successfully hosted that workshop for my team, she and I discussed using the same workshop to help other small organizations. This became the two-day strategic planning workshop for grantees of The People’s Fund.
We designed our training to give these developing, up-and-coming BIPOC-led organizations a helping hand to grow. In my experience in animal advocacy, the work of BIPOC-led organizations often goes unnoticed, and many of us don’t have access to the tools and resources that white-led organizations are much more privy to. This is due to a variety of factors related to operating within a white supremacist and capitalist framework that is perpetuated in the nonprofit arena as well.
The workshop included analyzing strengths and weaknesses and reviewing the organization’s mission statement, theory of change, core values, goals and objectives, and more. Attendees were given space to reflect and build strategies with their team members, allowing them to integrate much of the learnings in real time. Shortly after the workshop, we created a Slack channel for the attendees to stay connected with each other and to share resources regarding strategic planning.
When I started my journey into animal advocacy, I was often hyper-aware of being the only Black man participating in protests, leafleting, and other activist events. I hope that workshops like the one Leah and I held—and other efforts to build equity within animal advocacy—become much more commonplace.
- Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA)
- Apex Advocacy’s Fundraising Made Easy training series
Mercy For Animals is proud to support APEX Advocacy as a People’s Fund grantee, and we are grateful for their partnership in our mission to end industrial animal agriculture by constructing a just and sustainable food system.
*This article was written by a grantee of The People’s Fund and reflects their original thoughts and perspective. Please direct any questions or impressions of their work to their online platform.