Log in

Animal Grantmakers 2022 Conference

Program information will be updated regularly (and is subject to change). See the Speakers page for information about confirmed speakers to date. 

Animal Grantmakers is exploring the possibility of making select presentations available for viewing online after the conference. Please stay tuned.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (times are approximate) Optional field trips. If you would like to participate, please choose one of the following two options when you register:
  • Tour the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, the world's largest marine animal hospital and leader in the field of global ocean conservation, and enjoy a nature walk in the nearby Marin Headlands guided by Project Coyote
  • Visit four highly-respected companion animal-focused non-profits in San Francisco and Oakland: Cat Town, Muttville, San Francisco SPCA, and San Francisco Animal Care and Control
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.Opening night reception for all participants with guest speaker Mye Hoang, filmmaker and director of the documentary film, "Cat Daddies"

Monday, October 24, 2022

8:30 - 8:40 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks: Lori Grange, Board President, Animal Grantmakers 8:40 - 9:25 a.m. Opening keynote: "Animal Sentience"Stevan Harnad, Professor, Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal
Stevan Harnad will discuss a biological trait, “sentience,” the ability to feel, and why protecting the feelings of animals, human and non-human, matters – indeed, the only thing that matters. It is unlikely that all living organisms feel. Mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish almost certainly do; bees and lobsters probably do too; single cells and plants probably don’t because they do not have the organ of feeling: a nervous system. We cannot see whether an organism can feel: We can only see its body and what it can do. But from that, we can get a good idea. For them, if they feel, nothing matters more than that we get it right.
9:25 - 10:35 a.m. Panel discussion: “That’s Your Opinion” – Accomplishments in Court
The panelists will discuss the latest cases impacting animals in the court systems. Do animals have legal standing? Hear why animals are considered property and how that impacts their protection under the legal system. Learn more about the recent Happy the elephant case, Pablo Escobar’s hippos, and more. The session will also cover the Prop 12 case before the Supreme Court that may impact the ability of states to set standards about how farm animals are treated.
  • Chris Berry, Managing Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Monica Miller, Senior Consulting Attorney, Non-Human Rights Project
  • Joyce Tischler, Professor of Practice, Lewis & Clark Law School
  • Moderator: Melissa Rubin, Chief Advancement & Strategy Officer, Greater Good Charities
10:35 - 10:50 a.m. Break
10:50 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Panel discussion: “How Covid 19 Transformed Animal Shelter Operations and Inspired the Formation of Human Animal Support Services”
The COVID-19 pandemic led to the formation of Human Animal Support Services (HASS), transforming the way animal shelters care for and support animals and their people. The panelists will share the changes they’ve implemented in their organizations to follow this new community-centric model of animal sheltering, and how those changes better meet the needs of animals and people where they live.
  • Geraldine D’Silva, Former Director of Community Veterinary Services, San Diego Humane Society
  • Ann Dunn, Director, Oakland Animal Services
  • Annette Ramirez, Interim General Manager, Los Angeles Animal Services
  • Moderator: Bobby Mann, Chief Programs Officer, Humane Rescue Alliance
12:00 - 12:10 p.m. Inaugural Animal Grantmakers Melanie Anderson Lifetime Excellence in Animal Protection Award (Melanie Anderson LEAP Award)
The inaugural Animal Grantmakers Melanie Anderson Lifetime Excellence in Animal Protection Award (Melanie Anderson LEAP Award) will be presented to Sharon Negri, founder and director of WildFutures and co-founder and former director of the Mountain Lion Foundation. Animal Grantmakers and the Summerlee Foundation established the award to honor Melanie, a lifelong animal protection advocate and the foundation's director of animal programs for 32 years. The award is given to an animal advocate who has made a substantial and sustained contribution to animal protection, and whose work reflects a significant impact on non-human animals, especially those widely viewed as among the most overlooked, underfunded, heavily exploited, and in greatest need of support. The award is made possible by an annual grant from the Summerlee Foundation.
  • 2022 LEAP Award Winner: Sharon Negri, Founder and Director, WildFutures; Co-founder and former Director, Mountain Lion Foundation
12:10 - 1:20 p.m. Lunch with keynote presentation by Dr. Jyothi V. Robertson, Owner and Principal Consultant, JVR Shelter Strategies
This talk will highlight the interdependence of our work with that outside of animal welfare - education reform, climate change, social justice, etc. What does it look like to support our missions that tie to animals by looking outside of animal welfare? Our responsibility then becomes to clear the space for a new frame of thinking that removes barriers to listening. 
2:00 - 6:00 p.m. TED Talk-style presentations and cocktail reception at the nearby David Brower Center. Confirmed speakers:
A series of 10 back-to-back, TED-style talks will take center stage when attendees relocate to the nearby David Brower Center auditorium for an afternoon of lively, heartfelt discussions. Topics range from sentience and the rights of nature to the first vegan convenience store and discovery of a mountain lion who inspired and kick-started a $100 million construction project.
  • Dr. Aysha Akhtar, Co-founder, President & CEO, Center for Contemporary Sciences
  • Bobak Bakhtiari, Actor, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist; President, Hangry Planet
  • Erika Fleury, Program Director, North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA)
  • Dr. Peter Li, Associate Professor, University of Houston-Downtown
  • Thomas Linzey, Senior Legal Counsel, Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights
  • Dr. Michelle Lute, National Carnivore Conservation Manager, Project Coyote
  • Miguel Ordeñana, Senior Manager, Community Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Dave Phillips, Executive Director, Earth Island Institute and Free Keiko Foundation
  • Ed Stewart, President and Co-founder, Performing Animal Welfare Society
  • Jason Wrobel, Digital Marketing and Social Media Director, Switch4Good
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Informal dine-arounds at local, vegan-friendly restaurants
"There are few better places to eat plant-based than the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to traditional options for vegan dining, a strong international influence means that there is no shortage of delicious vegan ethnic food to be had in the Bay."--One Green Planet. Sign up to "veg out" at one of several highly rated, vegan-friendly dining establishments in the Berkeley area. Note: All transportation (if necessary or desired) and food/beverage costs are to be paid by the participant.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Morning keynote: “Introduction to Effective Altruism and Why Farmed Animals Are Center Stage,” Mikaela Saccoccio, Executive Director, Farmed Animal Funders
Effective altruism is a philosophical and social movement that uses evidence and reason to alleviate the most suffering as possible. In this talk, Mikaela Saccoccio will cover the effective altruist case for animal suffering. 
9:00 - 10:15 a.m. Panel discussion: “Once More with Feeling”—Sentience
In this session, moderated by Stevan Harnad (who gave the opening keynote), speakers will discuss the policy implications of the evidence of sentience for farmed mammals, birds, and fish, as well as for invertebrate species. 
  • Vicky Bond, President, The Humane League
  • Mikko Jarvenpaa , Founder & President, Sentient Media
  • David Peña-Guzman, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University
  • Moderator: Andrew Rowan, Grants Advisor, Edith J. Goode Residuary Trust
10:15 - 10:25 a.m. Break 10:25 - 11:25 a.m. Panel discussion: “What’s Up with Cali?”—Animal Issues and Developments in Our Host State
From Prop 12 to pet rescue, nonprofit leaders will discuss animal protection issues and developments in our host state.
  • Josh Balk, Vice President, Farm Animal Protection, Humane Society of the United States
  • Allison Cardona , California State Director, Koret Shelter Medicine Program, University of California, Davis
  • Ed Pert, Regional Manager, South Coast Region, California Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • Moderator: Lewis Bollard, Senior Program Officer, Farm Animal Welfare, Open Philanthropy Project
11:25 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Workshop: “How Funders Can Identify and Support Proximate Leaders”
Proximate leaders arise from the communities and issues they serve. Their organizations tend to be more innovative and better at problem solving than those in the for-profit world. Yet, they face a dramatic gap in opportunities for leadership, funding, and networking, which results in limited access to resources, influential relationships, and opportunities to support their work. Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE), a Black, Indigenous and People of Color-led organization inspired to rethink and rebuild animal welfare and protection, is helping reverse these trends and provide a lens for us as grantmakers to understand the authentic truth, data, storytelling, and impact that proximate leaders bring.
  • Hakeem Ruiz, Director, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE) Centers Philadelphia/Camden, New Jersey
  • Dr. Karlyn Emile , CEO, KGE Health and Wellness Services, Inc.; Volunteer, Community Health and Empowerment Network (CARE Center)
  • Moderator: James Evans, CEO, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE)
12:30 - 1:55 p.m. Lunch with presentation: "A Conversation with Eric Mills"
Eric Mills, founder of Oakland, California-based Action for Animals and an animal advocate for more than 40 years, will join Camilla Fox of Project Coyote on stage for a conversation about his tireless work on behalf of the voiceless. Join us over lunch to learn about Eric’s efforts to end rodeos in California, as well as the importation of live frogs and turtles for human consumption.
  • Eric Mills, Anti-Rodeo Activist & Coordinator, Action for Animals
  • Camilla Fox, Founder & Executive Director, Project Coyote
1:55 - 2:25 p.m. Afternoon keynote: "Addressing Your Bias," lauren Ornelas, Founder & President, Food Empowerment Project
How does systemic racism intersect with our food system? In this discussion, lauren will outline its ties to animal abuse in factory farms and highlight how some animal advocacy efforts may contribute to the problem.
2:25 - 3:30 p.m. Panel discussion: “The Suffering Seas”—Aquatic Factory Farming
Leaders in the field will discuss the impacts of fish farming, particularly from an animal welfare perspective, and share their approaches to the problem.
  • Marcus Davis, Co-CEO, Rethink Priorities
  • Catalina Lopez, Director, Aquatic Life Institute and Aquatic Animal Alliance
  • Andrianna Natsoulas, Campaign Director, Don't Cage Our Oceans
  • Moderator: Veronica Carrai, Principal, Tipping Point Private Foundation
3:30 - 3:40 p.m. Break 3:40 - 4:40 p.m. Panel discussion: “The Future of Food”
With more and more alternative protein options hitting grocery shelves, a new type of food market is emerging. In this discussion, experts explain the science and work behind cruelty-free protein and what's new on the horizon.
  • Rachel Dreskin, CEO, Plant Based Foods Association
  • Amy Huang, University Innovation Manager, Good Food Institute
  • Moderator: Alan Darer, Director of Philanthropy, Mobius
6:00 - 6:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Gala dinner with keynote presentation by Miyoko Schinner, CEO & Founder, Miyoko's Creamery.
Miyoko Schinner, founder of California-based Miyoko’s Creamery, will share her personal story of innovation in the plant-based food world to animal advocate and rescuer--and the trials and tribulations, successes and insights along the way. In her home city of Tokyo, Miyoko developed a taste for rich and flavorful French cuisine and gourmet cheeses, and became an outspoken vegan boldly setting out to create plant-based cheese and cuisine as artistic and decadent as the finest French foods she fell in love with.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Animal Grantmakers Business Meeting (open to Animal Grantmakers members only; breakfast will be served beginning at 8:30 a.m.)

11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Tour the Alameda, CA headquarters of Eat Just, well-known for its JUST Egg products.

After the Annual Business Meeting, but before heading home, take a peek under the hood of one of the premier alternative protein companies in the world. Organizing the approximately one-hour tour to Eat Just, just a handful of miles from the conference hotel, will be company co-founder Josh Balk (from the "What's Up with Cali?" panel).

Replacing animals in agriculture promises to have the most significant impact on reducing animal cruelty in our lifetime. Eat Just is a food technology company leading the way with two divisions, JUST Egg and GOOD Meat. In line with its mission to build a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food system in our lifetimes, Eat Just created America’s fastest-growing egg brand – made entirely of plants – and the world’s first-to-market meat made from animal cells instead of slaughtered livestock. The company’s accomplishments have been lauded in hundreds of media outlets, most recently Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and CNBC, and is included among the Popular Science “100 Greatest Innovations.” The history-making debut of GOOD Meat in Singapore was heralded as one of 2020's top scientific breakthroughs by The Guardian, Vox, and WIRED.

Eat Just is a 10-year-old Bay Area private company that has had a dozen rounds of venture capital funding (by Khosla Ventures, Alibaba, Vulcan and others) and is valued at over a billion dollars (a unicorn in start-up parlance).

Space is limited to 20 people. If you would like to attend, please contact Lisa Rapps at Pending availability, sign-up sheets will also be available at the conference. Note: transportation will be organized by participants.

Contact Us  |  About Us

© 2023 Animal Grantmakers • All Rights Reserved