Animal rights conferences are something that so many of us look forward to. They are, in many ways, a staple in our community, allowing us a chance to connect with like-minded people, learn about better ways of advocating for animals, and hear the views of some folks who have leadership roles at animal protection organizations. But of course, there are so many people who are not able to travel to these conferences. Not only do many people who care about animals have the normal issues that prevent this luxury — jobs, family, money (or rather, lack thereof) — but many also have animals to care for and no one to fill in.
For all of these reasons, web-based resources are so important for those who want to get active for animals, find out what others are doing, and figure out for themselves which animal protection organizations best represent their views and advocate most effectively. Animal Awakenings is one organization that has decided to fill that need by providing a web-based program to let those of us who can’t make it to AR, or TAFA, or one of the other animal rights movement conferences, in on the action.
The kickoff event in this project will be a series of talks on Skills, Strategies & Insights for Best Ever Results in Serving Animals. This two-day virtual conference, on May 20-21, will feature sessions on topics such as Creating Change Through Effective Advocacy and Volunteerism: Better & Best Results for Animals, and will feature speakers from leading animal advocacy organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, Best Friends Animal Society, and Farm Sanctuary. There is also an interactive session, where you can have your say.
Registration is limited, so if you are interested in attending, you should get on it. You can register for as many of the programs offered over these two days as you wish. It’s especially cool that for these two days, tuition has been made optional (though if you can afford it, a donation of $25 for all, or $10 for each, is suggested). After this kickoff two-day session, the series will continue with individual webinars, which do not appear to be scheduled yet. Also currently available on the site is a replay of a recent webinar, entitled New Era Tools & Approaches for Success … for Staff, Volunteers, Supporters. This has also been made available with tuition optional.
Virtual conferences may not be able to fully substitute for the opportunity to connect with others passionate about animals that is provided by in-person conferences. However, given the limited resources that each of us has, online educational opportunities are crucial for finding out ways to get active for animals and for expanding the skills and knowledge-base needed in order to do so. This looks to be one great opportunity for doing so, and we hope to see many more in the future.