Control the Meerkat, Creature Conferences, K9 Confidential and all involved in the Control the Meerkat Trauma Conferences acknowledges the racial disparities, inaccessibility, unequal access and unintentional and intentional bias within the animal professional community. And we acknowledge that to date, we have not done enough to change these inequalities.
We acknowledge and deeply regret that in past conferences, BIPGM communities have not been adequately represented as speakers. We understand the harm that this has caused and commit to actively working towards ensuring diverse representation in all future conferences. We recognize the importance of hearing from voices and perspectives that have been historically marginalized, and are committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable conference experience for all attendees. This includes BIPGM, Neurodivergent, Disabled and LGBTQIA+ and all other marginalised communities.
We acknowledge that we are in a position of privilege. Our team currently represents neurodivergent, disability and LGBTQIA+. We need to do more to represent and promote BIPGM, LGBTQIA+, Neurodivergent, The Deaf Community, The Blind Community and Disability (visible and invisible) at the Trauma in Animals Conference.
Our policy of hiring speakers and recruiting volunteers is purely on a merit basis and we fully comply with the Equality Act 2010 (United Kingdom). We are aware that this covers us legally but not ethically and we are starting with this statement of recognition that more needs to be done.
We intend to alter the conference format to include additional sessions to provide a wider platform and more opportunity for a diverse range of individuals to participate. We have consulted with representatives from several marginalised communities and have produced the Empower Pass. A safe way for people of marginalised communities to gain access to our conference where they previously could not, starting in 2024. As a small conference each year we are successful and we are able to increase our diversity even more.
Currently we will ask a person’s preferred pronouns and will use gender neutral language until this information is obtained. We have professional closed captions on all recordings. We record all main talks for the conference, so they can be captioned on live showings and so we can release them early and leave them up for 4 years to allow different opportunities to watch and learn.
We take our trauma informed approach to help and provide all person’s and all those that we represent to feel safe. That we are transparent and trustworthy, that we support and collaborate with ALL our peers/attendees according to their needs that allow them to participate and be fully inclusive. We want to empower and give a voice and choice to BIPGM, Disability, LGBTQIA+ and Neurodivergent groups. Also to fully understand and learn about all cultural, historical, gender and racial issues so we can communicate and act with understanding and empathy.
We Welcome any comments and suggestions to help with accessibility, equality and diversity and inclusion. For more in depth discussions we would start with finding a method of communication that is safe for both parties to discuss matters openly and without fear of persecution or misunderstanding.
For matters relating to the Control the Meerkat Trauma conference we can open communications via email at [email protected].