Registration now open for One Voice conference

Join us in Grand Rapids, Sept. 21-22, for an exciting opportunity to network with Michigan’s animal welfare community and to learn all about what’s new and what’s next.

We’re excited to announce two keynote speakers at this year’s conference: Dr. Marty Becker, founder of Fear Free®, and Denise Evans, diversity, equity and inclusion expert and founder of Consult Me, LLC.

Dr. Becker has spent his life working toward better health for pets and the people who love them.

Dr. Becker is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as at the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at both Colorado State University and the University of Missouri. Dr. Becker said he practices at VCA North Idaho Animal Hospital because he loves veterinary medicine, pets and the people who care for them

The resident veterinary contributor on “Good Morning America” for 17 years, he has also written 23 books that have sold almost 8 million copies. He also writes the weekly nationally syndicated newspaper feature, Pet Connection, with his writing partner Kim Campbell Thornton.

Dr. Becker’s Keynote: Take the Fear Out of Sheltering, Meet Their Emotional Needs
Fear Free works to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them, including veterinary and other pet professionals, pet parents, and the staff and volunteers of animal shelters and rescues.

Learn all about the Fear Free Shelter Program and the emotional needs of the animals in your care. Apply key strategies and techniques designed to reduce the negative emotional states that are commonly experienced by shelter and rescue animals, including fear, anxiety, stress (FAS) and frustration, and to increase their enrichment opportunities. The Fear Free Shelter Program provides training suitable for all individuals involved in the care and oversight of shelter and rescue animals, from medical and behavioral staff, intake, reception, kennel and cattery staff, to animal control officers, adoption counselors, foster caregivers and shelter volunteers.

Denise Evans is an experienced professional with a history of working in the nonprofit sector on issues of equity, disparities, social justice, cultural intelligence and implicit bias.

Denise is a skilled trainer and facilitator of difficult conversations about equity, justice, anti-oppression, anti-racism, eliminating structural, systemic racism; and health, educational, housing, and other economic disparities.

For the past 20 years, she’s worked diligently to join community organizers together to disrupt systems of oppression and to build a more equitable future for those living in our nation’s most vulnerable communities.

Denise holds graduate degrees from Southern California School of Ministry and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. She’s been recognized for her accomplishments as co-author in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, received the Woman of Influence Award from Cornerstone University, the Community Leadership Award from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and was recognized by the Kent County Health Department for her passionate and tireless work to eliminate health inequities and the corresponding racialized outcomes that plague our nation. Denise officially launched Consult Me, LLC, which provides training, education and ecumenical support in the areas of equity, justice, bias and microaggressions.

Denise Evans’ Keynote: Exploring Implicit Bias and Stereotypes That Prevent Lifesaving
Implicit biases are the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner. They are the unconscious assumptions that we have about others that can skew our understanding and unintentionally affect our behavior and judgment. Research shows that our biases are more likely to show up when we’re in cognitive overload; when we’re tired, overly stressed or under pressure. Explore perceptions that include judgment and blaming the individual for their “current state,” leaving little to no room to take into account societal factors that have been in play for centuries. Learn and explore where implicit bias exists in your organization and in your policies. Leave with an action plan to eliminate those biases and create equity in the programs and services you provide.

The theme of this year’s in-person conference is Better Together. We’re supporting that theme by assembling leaders and visionaries to share the latest research and best practices in animal welfare.

Breakout tracks include:
– People Power!
– Pet Health & Wellness
– Best Practices for Shelters & Rescues
– Community & Communication

Don’t wait to register! We expect this year’s conference to sell out.