As we near the end of 2021, we wanted to share an update about our ongoing efforts to increase the presence of positive reinforcement trainers who are Black, Indigenous, or otherwise of Color:
This year we created a scholarship program for our flagship Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program. The addition of this scholarship program, in combination with other previously established scholarships, enabled increased access across our educational offerings and at each step of the learning process, from foundational courses for beginners through professional certification.
We offered scholarships to the DTP program in 14 locations and 10 students enrolled in the course as scholarship recipients. In combination with our other scholarship programs for training courses and for our ClickerExpo educational conferences, we project that in 2021 more than 75 students will have enrolled in one of our educational offerings using scholarship funding.
In 2022, we will continue to offer our scholarship programs for Karen Pryor Academy, as well as for our virtual conference ClickerExpo LIVE, with added scholarships opportunities for programs at The Ranch in Graham, WA.
In 2021, we also began to explore a joint effort with a non-profit organization to develop and teach a program that would introduce positive reinforcement training to children in underserved communities, but the project did not move beyond the exploration stage. In 2022, we will be examining our options to continue to support initiatives that serve a similar population.
We are continuing our active participation in fellow training organizations’ initiatives, including IAABC’s Listening Series, and look forward to sharing more of what we learn together.
Finally, through 2021 we supported organizations on the front lines of change and will continue to do so. We made cash donations to three organizations in 2021; The Community Justice Exchange, which produces tools and resources for organizers to creatively tackle multiple drivers of criminalization and incarceration, including the National Bail Fund Network. The Brotherhood/Sister Sol in New York City and The Social Justice Learning Institute operating in California and Texas also received our financial support. These two organizations are focused on youth education and empowerment with deep programming for, and roots in, their greater regions and communities.
We look forward to sharing more updates as they become available!