Details for the 2019 GEAR Leadership Conference will be announced soon. The goals of the conference will be to support the leadership development of women and non-binary people in the AR movement, build capacity of AR organizations that are led by women and non-binary people, and provide a place for women and non-binary people in the AR movement to gather, build relationships, and support collaborative efforts in all areas of the animal rights movement.


We hosted a preliminary conference on June 27th and 28th just prior to the AR2018 conference in LA.  We wanted to get a broad representation of people in leadership positions from across the movement, so we extended invitations to a large list of national and international animal rights organizations in order to make sure the we were extending beyond our personal networks. We wanted to empower the leaders to make change within their organization on gender equity issues. We gave priority to women of color and gave additional invites to people from underrepresented groups and survivors of sexual harassment.

We’d like to be completely transparent about the process for this conference and the invitation process we followed.  There was an open call for volunteers for a planning committee.  18 people stepped up to volunteer.  We organized bi-weekly meetings and formed subcommittees for mission/vision, agenda, and conference logistics.  We elected to invite organizations to submit their nomination of one person to attend the leadership conference to represent the organization.  There were 113 on that list. (pasted below so please let us know if we missed everyone).  We sent out a request for nominations and received about 60-70 nominations.  We confirmed those attendees and reached out to people not affiliated with specific organizations, but who are leaders in the AR movement, individuals who have left the movement due to sexual harassment, bullying, or some other reason, as well as additional participants from the organizations already sending a representative, who are also leaders in the movement, especially if they are women of color, LGBTQ, or gender nonconforming.

If you feel we have left out an organization or individual, please let us know.  We are a volunteer committee of 18 people trying to be as transparent and fair as we can.  We are human. We make mistakes. If we do, we’d like to fix them!  We are trying to create an inclusive movement where everyone is welcome. A reminder of our stated mission and core values:

If you’d like to be on the mailing list for the full conference, please fill out this form. WOC and LGBTQ are especially encouraged to join us!


The organizing committee for the 2018 preliminary conference was a group of volunteers that joined together after an open call for volunteers to plan the event:

Alicia Robb
Andrea Gunn
Chelsea Gale
Caroline Love
Jennifer Fearing
Katie Cantrell
Kelly Witwicki
Krystal Caldwell
Leah Garces
Lisa Rimmert
Lydia Harris
Michelle Rojas
Nicole Brodeur
Stacy Owens

List of organizations that were invited to nominate one attendee (email us if we’ve missed anyone so that we can be sure to invite them to the main conference in 2019!)

A Well-Fed World
Afro-Vegan Society, PEP Foods
Albert Schweitzer Foundation
Animal Charity Evaluators
Animal Equality
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Animal Place
Animals Australia
Anti-Fur Society
Beagle Freedom Project
Better Eating International
Beyond Carnism
Black Vegans Rock
By Any Greens Necessary
Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis and Clark
Collectively Free
Compassion in World Farming US
Compassion over Killing
Compassion Works International
Cruelty Free Investing
Factory Farming Awareness Coalition
Farm Animal Rights Movement
Farm Sanctuary
Fish Feel
Food Empowerment Project
Free From Harm
Glasswall Syndicate
Good Food Institute
Harvest Home
Help Animals India
Humane Society International
Humane Society Legislative Fund
Humane Society of the United States
In Defense of Animals
J.L. Fields (author / podcaster–Easy Vegan with JL Fields)
Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch
Jeremy Coller Foundation/FAIRR
Juliana’s Animal Sanctuary
La Raza for Liberation
Leaping Bunny Program
Mercy for Animals
Microsanctuary Movement
National Anti-Vivisection Society
New Harvest
Nonhuman Rights Project
Nutrition Facts
Otwarte Klatki (Open Cages)
Our Hen House
Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Plant-Based Foods Association
Pollination Project
ProVeg International
Reducetarian Foundation
Save Movement
Seed the Commons
Sentience Institute
Sistah Vegan Project
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty
The Game Changers
The Humane League
The Vegetarian Resource Group
United Poultry Concerns
Vegan Advocacy Initiative
Vegan Lady Boss
Vegan Outreach
Vegan Street
Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack
VINE sanctuary
We Animals
Wild Animal Suffering Research
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary
YEA Camp