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If you've already registered for the summit, simply click the "Sign In" button on the top right of the page and log in with the account information you set up when you registered. (If you're already logged in, click on "My Dashboard" on the top right). You'll be taken to the "Dashboard" where you'll be able to click onto the Diversifying The HERD Virtual Summit logo to access all the sessions.

Who's Invited?

Whether you are already an equine facilitated practitioner, equine professional, or simply interested in working with horses, we invite you to join us for this unique virtual summit experience. 

This is the FIRST EVER global gathering of equine facilitated practitioners that is hosted and led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within the field. Our aim is to highlight the incredible work that BIPOC folks are already doing in this industry while also encourage conversations about how to increase diversity equity, and inclusion within equine facilitated work. 

Proceeds from this summit will go towards a scholarship fund for BIPOC individuals who are interested in entering this field. The Patricia Kelly Scholarship Fund, named after our keynote presenter, Patricia Kelly of Ebony Horsewomen Inc and a pioneer of equine facilitated psychotherapy & learning, is offered through Share in The HERD. 

Share in The HERD is a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers grants and scholarships to programs and individuals in the field of equine facilitated work. 

Are You Ready?

Register now and join us in our conversations with industry leaders and help shape the future of equine facilitated work

Presenters Schedule

  • 1

    Welcome to the Diversifying The HERD Virtual Summit 2021

    • Summit Orientation

  • 2

    Highlighted Presentations

    • Opening Address by Dr. Veronica Lac, Executive Director & Founder, The HERD Institute®

    • KEYNOTE ADDRESS: The Importance of Cultural Competence in Equine Facilitated Work by Patricia Kelly, CEO, Ebony Horsewomen Inc.

    • Creating a Cultural Competence Framework for Equine Facilitated Work. Panel Discussion with Dr. Veronica Lac, Elizabeth McCorvey, Patricia Kelly, & Selina Pennie Brown

    • More Than A Statement. Industry Leaders Panel Discussion with Dr. Veronica Lac, Leif Hallberg, Shannon Knapp, Kathy Alm, & Julie Broadway. Moderated by Gabrielle Chapman

    • Becoming a Social Justice Leader within Animal Welfare. Presented by Gabrielle Chapman

    • Reflections in Community: Continue the conversations and learning from the day, network with presenters and other participants, and wrap up the day's experience in connection with The HERD Community

  • 3

    Pre-Recorded Presentations

    • Herd Dynamics: A Personal Perspective on Diversity. Presented by Gwendolyn Coley, LCSW

    • Racial Microaggression in the Equine Industry. Presented by Grachelle Sherburne, LCSW

    • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan: How to get started. Presented by Nichole Boyd

    • Strategies of Diversity and Inclusion: Learning from Another National Organization. Presented by Miyako Kinoshita

    • The Racial Legacy of "The Great Outdoors": Ecocultural Implications for Black Americans. Presented by Dr. Derrick Sebree Jr.

  • 4

    Dialogues on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

    • Listening with Compassion to Horses and Humans with Leif Hallberg

    • Cancel Culture and The Importance of Pausing with Shannon Knapp & Elizabeth McCorvey

    • Visible Allyship with Dr. Anastasia Curwood and Sally Spickard (Strides for Equality Equestrians)

    • Unbaking the Cake of Systemic Racism with Kathy Alm, CEO, PATH International

    • Holding The Big Picture with Julie Broadway, President, American Horse Council

    • A Brave New World with Hasanka Perera

    • Finding the Wild Within with Dr. Ping-Tzu Lee

    • The Art of Listening and Cultivating Curiosity with Judy Brightman

  • 5

    A Little Extra...

    • Embodied Conversations About Racism & Anti-Racism

  • 6


    • How to Upgrade Your Summit Experience

    • How to Access Bonus Content

  • 7

    Information on Continuing Education Credits

    • What CEs are available?

  • 8

    And Finally...

    • Thank You

Our Summit is now EVERGREEN!

This means that all live sessions have passed, but fear not! You haven't missed out. You can now purchase lifetime access to all the recorded sessions from the live event AND access 20+ hours of additional recorded materials.

Your Summit Hosts

Dr. Veronica Lac, LPCis the Founder & Executive Director of The HERD Institute® has 20 years of experience as a corporate trainer and mental health professional, and is also a certified therapeutic riding instructor. 

The HERD Institute® offers training and certifications in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy & Learning that incorporate a cultural competence framework. Veronica is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and has worked on a range of racial and social justice initiatives, including being a Board member of The Humanitarian Alliance, and part of the American Psychological Association, Division 32 Diversity Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Work Group for PATH International. Veronica offers DEI consultations and training to organizations both in the corporate sector and within the non-profit environment. She is passionate about research in the field of equine facilitated psychotherapy and has multiple publications internationally in peer-reviewed journals. Veronica is the author of two best-selling books in the field of equine facilitated work.

Veronica is also the Founder & Executive Director of Share in The HERD, a non-profit organization that offers grants and scholarships to increase accessibility to training and funding within the equine facilitated arena. The proceeds of this virtual summit will be dedicated to their Patricia Kelly Scholarship Fund for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. 

Contact: [email protected]     Website:

Elizabeth McCorvey, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Anti-Racist Educator living in Asheville, NC. She works with college students at UNC-Asheville, and is the co-owner of a private practice where she works with adults using equine-assisted psychotherapy. She has an additional office where she primarily works with people who are Minoritized and/or experiencing Racial Trauma. Elizabeth is a passionate advocate for anti-racism and equity in the Mental Health world and frequently facilitates workshops and consultation events for therapists on the subject. You can find out more about Elizabeth at  

Keynote Presenter

Patricia E. Kelly is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, community leader, and equestrian trailblazer since 1984. Patricia founded Ebony Horsewomen, Inc. in Hartford, CT, providing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy for urban youth. She was inducted into National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame, inducted into National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and is a CNN Top 10 Hero.

Ebony Horsewomen Inc., initially started in 1984 as a cultural and social enrichment organization for Black female equestrians. Patricia Kelly took note of the grip drugs and violence had on her community and that local youth were in high-risk situations and falling through the cracks. So, in 1987, she reinvented the organization into an equestrian and agricultural center with a fully functioning farm that houses horses and other animals, and sought to create a safe space for local youth to receive education, mentorship, and personal development through the use of equine programs, animal assisted therapy, and S.T.E.M. classes.

Contact: [email protected]


Speakers & Panelists


Selina Pennie Brown, known widely for being an original member of The Cowgirls of Color, is also the founder of The STAND Foundation to "Strengthen Thoughts and Nurture Dreams" of inner-city youth in Washington, DC. Pennie's love of outdoor sports led her to become a member of the all-female, all Black, Cowgirls of Color competitive rodeo team. Her dream to see young African American and children of African descent engage with the equestrian community is being realized through The STAND Foundation. 

Contact: [email protected]


Gabrielle Chapman formerly worked as a Senior Analyst with The Humane Society of the US Pet's for Life program where she lent her expertise to push forward the conversation about racism within animal welfare. She has helped to bring forth an increased consciousness about how systemic racism and other forms of oppression hinder growth and wellbeing. She uses the knowledge she has acquired across racial justice, food/land justice, and animal rights/welfare to inform her consulting work, using a One Health model that strives to invent technology and build relationships that foster solutions from a socio-ecological perspective. Chapman was the inaugural director of Call to Action for Racial Equality Coalition, West Virginia's first intersectional racial equality organization. 

Contact: [email protected]



Before founding The PEACH Pit, a Georgia mental health care nonprofit in 2014, Gwendolyn Coley was an award-winning journalist and public affairs professional. She worked at four Southern newspapers, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Army and Army Reserve units, including a military history detachment that was the first unit in the Southeast to have been activated during the first Gulf war. In 2007 she retired from the Army, and in July 2017, she retired from federal service as a social worker helping homeless or formerly homeless veterans find and keep stable housing, gain employment, work through mental health diagnoses and establish contact with community resources. Gwendolyn now dedicates herself full time to The PEACH Pit, where she partners with the 17 horses on the farm to provide affordable, stigma-free mental health services. PEACH stands for Peach (county/state) Equine-Assisted Counseling and Health. 


Nichole received her MA in History with a concentration in American Indian history from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). For the past 15 years, Nichole has worked closely with Tribal leadership and university administrators to advocate for Indigenous peoples at primarily White institutions to center sovereignty and further shared goals through collaboration, advocacy, and inclusion. Currently, she serves as the Director of Native American House at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is also an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of History at Ivy Tech Community College. Most recently, Nichole has been named to the Native American Employment Plan Advisory Council for the State of Illinois and serves as the Vice-Chair for the Illinois State Museum Society Board. Horses have always been an important part of Nichole's life since owning her first pony at the age of three. She has held many positions in the field including stable-hand, instructor, wrangler, advisor, assistant coach, and barn manager. Currently, she is working to complete her Therapeutic Riding Certification through PATH International and serves on their new Diversity and Inclusion Work Group. 


Miyako serves as the key facilitator for over 200 children with psychosocial disabilities currently in residence and day school and facilitates and supervises a wide range of animal and plant based nature assisted programs. Miyako has a Master's degree in Education and is a Certified Advanced Level Therapeutic Riding Instructor through PATH International. After serving 6 years on the Board of Trustees at PATH Intl., Miyako started volunteering for the United States Tennis Association, where she has been a part of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the sectional level, and a part of the national Diversity Immersion Volunteer Engagement Initiative. 


Grachelle Sherburne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Psychotherapist, and Mind Transformational & Business Coach who is committed to improving the lives of those she serves. Grachelle has a private practice, Taking The Reins to Change, where she specializes in TF-CBT and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy with her clients and her horses. Grachelle also teaches practitioners and clinicians how to create online businesses in her program, The Coaching Transformation Academy. Grachelle is also a consultant for businesses to assist them in aligning their beliefs, values, and goals with their mission to become diverse, equitable, and inclusive in their business practices. 

Contact: [email protected]


Dr. Sebree is a Core Faculty member of the MA program at the Michigan School of Psychology, where he is also an alumni. Dr. Sebree received his MECCA Certificate in Multicultural Counseling from MSU. He specializes in multicultural identity theory and counseling, alongside this is Dr.Sebree’s specialty in ecopsychology/ecotherapy. Dr. Sebree’s dissertation focused on the relationship between racial identity development and connection to nature. In his time during graduate training and prior, Dr. Sebree has worked with various social justice organizations in Detroit around food security and other environmental justice issues. Coupled with organizing group social justice community gardening events, Dr. Sebree has an extensive background in community-oriented social justice work. Dr. Sebree has been an active member of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, APA Division 32 since joining as a student in 2007. He has undertaken different leadership positions within the division, serving as a Member-at-Large, chair of the EcoJustice Task Force and co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Membership chair for the organization. Dr. Sebree has served as a mentor for BIPOC students, promoting inclusivity, hospitality, and scholarly diversity. Dr. Sebree serves as a board member for the 501c3 non-profit, The Humanitarian Alliance, which works to promote psychological, social, and ecological justice.

Contact: [email protected] 


 Hasanka Perera is a Horsemanship Coach working primarily with children & adolescents who have varying emotional, physical & behavioral needs. She is currently based in Auckland, New Zealand, & works out of Whisky Meade Farm & Dune Lakes Lodge. Hasanka teaches an eclectic & joyous style of working with horses that focuses on building empathetic relationships & authentic two-way communication, with the intention of facilitating the learning of transferable skills that students can apply throughout their wider lives. Born in Sri Lanka and having immigrated to NZ as a child, Hasanka has a lifetime of experience sitting in predominantly Western equestrian spaces while holding knowledge and understanding of non-western world views. Her experiences within these contexts makes her well placed to speak to the challenges that go along with that, as well as the opportunities for development in the equestrian world towards creating more inclusive spaces.

Dr. Anastasia (“Stacy”) Curwood grew up in Cambridge, MA and started riding at age 9 and eventing and Pony Clubbing at age 14. She took some chunks of time off from riding while in college at Bryn Mawr (PA), but she’s been in the saddle since, riding through Training Level eventing and Second Level dressage as an Adult Amateur. Stacy received a PhD in U.S. History from Princeton with a specialty in African American History in 2003. She writes about Black women’s intellectual and political work in the 20th century.  She published one book in 2010 and has another one is nearly done. In 2014, she took a faculty job at the University of Kentucky as an Associate Professor and Director of African American and Africana Studies. She has 2 OTTBs: Cat Burglar, aka Taco the Wonder Horse, retired, and her current competitive partner Rock Hard Attitude, or Biggie in the barn.

Contact: [email protected]

Sally Spickard has a background in journalism and communications. Having spent the last seven years as a freelance writer and editor for equestrian publications including Eventing Nation, Heels Down Magazine, and Nö, Sally was recently appointed the Managing Editor of Eventing Nation. Sally believes in the power of sports to foster community and has made it her ongoing goal to contribute to a more diverse and inclusive world, beginning with equestrian sports. Adopted from South Korea and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Sally studied journalism at the University of Georgia and now resides in San Diego, California. As a founding member of SEE, Sally is committed to raising awareness of the importance of visible allyship within the equine industry. 

Dr. Ping-Tzu Lee is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Group Services Coordinator at Duke University Counseling and Psychological Services in Durham, North Carolina. Originally from Taiwan, Ping-Tzu was introduced to horses while she was a graduate student at Colorado State University. Ping-Tzu is passionate about researching equine assisted psychotherapy as a mental health treatment modality and its impact on social work, and has published several academic journal articles in this field. In the therapy room, Ping-Tzu is  particularly interested in self-relations psychotherapy. and believes the relationship between a person and their own self is crucial to mental health and is essential to change. Outside of the traditional therapy room,  she enjoys spending time with her mustang on the farm or in the forest.


Judy is a coach with over 30 years’ experience in global consulting firms and corporate groups in leadership development and assessment, change management and team building. Her lifelong passion for horses eventually led her to the world of equine facilitated learning and she is a recommended Eponaquest & Master Herder Instructor. She grew up in Zimbabwe, and worked in South Africa, the UK and Zimbabwe, where she was involved in running communities based natural resort management programs as well as leadership development for the country’s largest group pf safari lodges and resorts. After settling in Australia in the late 90s she got involved with Riding for the Disabled (RDA) and spent over 18 years as an accredited Coach teaching groups and individuals, training volunteers and supervising trainee coaches. She served more than seven years as a Committee member of the largest centre in NSW and was Chair of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health & Learning Committee for RDA NSW, establishing this as a discipline within the organisation. In this capacity she worked with colleagues to develop and implement coach training in equine facilitated learning. Judy brings a rich diversity of life experience to all sessions. She grew up in a troubled land, experiencing the loss and trauma that war brings, experienced the brutality of apartheid in her student days at the University of Cape Town, survived marriage, divorce, exile and violent abuse. Her healing journey was born in relationship with a very special horse and led to her exploration of eclectic healing and self-development practices. Her vision is to foster more kindness in the world, to bring Calmness, Connection, Compassion…one breath at a time.


Internationally-recognized author, educator, and experiential psychotherapist, Leif Hallberg, has made it her life’s work to explore the myriad of health benefits that can be gained from engaging in respectful, relational, and mindful interactions between horses (and other animals), humans and the natural world. As an innovator, pioneer, and leading expert in the area of equine-assisted mental health and equine-assisted learning, Leif has developed a reputation over the past 20+ years for her broad-reaching and objective study of the industry, her scholarly rigor, her passion for equine welfare, and her unwavering dedication to ethical practice and increasing provider competency. Her books are used by colleges and universities around the world as teaching texts, and professionals consider them essential resources for research and clinical practice. Leif offers personal and professional development training, consultation, supervision, and coaching services.



Shannon Knapp, is founder and president of both Horse Sense of the Carolinas, Inc., an internationally-recognized leader in the field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning, and Executive Director of Heart of Horse Sense, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting professional Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning for Veterans and At-Risk Youth in WNC at no cost. Shannon has also published many books and curricula in the field of EAP/EAL, including More Than a Mirror: Horses, Humans and Therapeutic Practices. Shannon is a trainer for Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, is EAGALA Advanced and has an EAGALA Military Individual designation, is Associate Faculty for Prescott College’s Equine Assisted Learning Masters Concentration program and also for Warren Wilson College. A professional in EAP/EAL since in 2001, she has thousands of hours of client contact with a diverse range of diagnoses.

Kathy Alm began her service as Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH Intl.) in August 2014. For the previous 15 years she served as Executive Director of Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. She grew the previously grass roots organization from a $280,000 annual operating budget to a professional $2.1 million organization. Kathy’s board service includes PATH Intl’s board from 2005 – 2013, including the office of board president, Founder/Board member of the Director of Disabilities Organization, Board Member of the Alliance of Eastside Agencies as well as Founder/Board member of Theatre Puget Sound. She has facilitated numerous workshops and presentations on board development, staffing, fundraising and strategic planning and enjoys the opportunity to share her experience as well as learn from others. Kathy holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University. Her dedication to the field of Equine-assisted Services spans over 21 years with a passion that was ignited the moment she walked through the door at her first therapeutic riding center. She brings this level of passion and commitment to seeing diversity, equity and inclusion addressed throughout the industry in a systemic and ongoing manner.

Contact: [email protected]


With over 30 years of leadership experience in both for-profit and non-profit sectors, Ms. Broadway holds a BS, MBA, Executive Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership and is Certified Association Executive®. She’s a life-long horse enthusiast ranging from recreational rider, breeder, and show competitor. She was named American Horse Council President in 2016 and served on the board of PATH Intl. from 2011 - 2019 including Board President from 2016-2017.

Contact: [email protected]

Need CEs?

For attendees seeking NBCC or PATH Intl. Continuing Education hours, you can earn 1 clock hour for each LIVE session and 0.5 clock hours for each pre-recorded session. 

The HERD Institute®, LLC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6845.  The HERD Institute®, LLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. 

Sign Up for this unique offering now

Our Sponsors

Thank you to all of our sponsors who have supported this virtual summit. We are so grateful to have visible allies in our quest to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion into focus within the industry. 

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) is proud to sponsor this ground breaking virtual summit. PATH Intl. is committed to challenging the systemic barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the industry, and believe that we need to increase awareness of these issues personally and professionally in an effort towards effecting change. 

A Stable Connection offers a range of equine first aid, safety and nutrition classes, providing horse owners with both practical skills and invaluable knowledge. Elisabeth Crabtree also offers rider biomechanics clinics, helping riders achieve better posture, partnership and performance. Elizabeth is committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the equine industry.

Contact: Tel: 936-827-5694    Email: [email protected] 

The University Professors Press was established in 2012 with the mission of publishing books in humanistic and existential psychology, clinical psychology, and creativity studies. UPP is committed to publishing works that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the field of psychology, and is proud to be the publisher of Dr. Veronica Lac's book It's Not About The Activity: Thinking Outside the Toolbox of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy & Learning. Summit attendees purchasing the Ultimate Package will receive discount coupons for the ENTIRE UPP Catalogue until April 30, 2021.
Strides for Equality Equestrians (SEE) is an allyship program for the eventing and wider equestrian communities and represents a first step towards addressing the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in our discipline.
Natural Lifemanship offers trauma informed equine assisted psychotherapy certifications and is working in partnership with The HERD Institute® and Share in The HERD™ to help increase accessibility to certifications in the field.
Online tack store, State Line Tack are championing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives throughout the equine industry through their Diversity Equestrian Project, and are proud to sponsor the Diversifying The HERD Virtual Summit. 

Disability Statement: The HERD Institute® is committed to offering an inclusive environment for students of all abilities. Please contact us at [email protected] if you require any disability accommodations.