On October 22 and 23, 2018, Kirkpatrick Foundation of Oklahoma will host the second ANIMAL Conference: A Forum of Ideas, Impact, and Inspiration in downtown Oklahoma City. This two-day conference will bring together speakers from across the United States on the topic of animal wellbeing and compassion. We plan for 425 people to attend from across the country. We hope you will join us in this remarkable new endeavor, to be held once every three years.
Kirkpatrick Foundation has supported Oklahoma non-profits since 1955. We make grants in the areas of arts, culture, education, animal concerns, historic preservation and the environment. The foundation has been instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Oklahoma City Zoological Society, Oklahoma City Ballet, Lyric Theatre, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and many more such organizations. To date, we have distributed more than $62 million in grants, with animal wellbeing now representing approximately 25 percent of our annual charitable activities. Our animal focus includes veterinary research, zoological health, spay/neuter and TNR, care for injured wildlife, and the social implications of the human-animal bond.
In 2012, Kirkpatrick Foundation started the Safe & Humane initiative with the goal of making Oklahoma one of the safest and most humane places to be an animal by 2032, and this website is dedicated to that undertaking. The ANIMAL 2018 Conference is a key element in achieving the Safe & Humane goal. (For social media hashtags related to the conference, use #animal2018.)
Our vision for the conference is to allow those who are professionally or personally part of the animal wellbeing community to convene and discuss current topics and concerns, including community wellness. As the Dalai Lama wrote in Universal Responsibility and the Global Environment, “Compassion is by nature, peaceful and gentle, but it is also very powerful.” We believe that the conference—a festival, really—as well as our Safe & Humane initiative will educate and inspire Oklahomans to translate their love for animals into positive action and compassion toward animals and in turn other humans. We believe that this type of action can create amazing change in individual lives as well as the community in which one lives. We hope you will be able to attend this conference and take part in the discussion.