The concept for an organized group of minority zoo professionals began forming in 2018. A small group of animal keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC recognized a dearth of black animal keepers at zoos around the country. This group initially imagined a nationwide network of black zookeepers who could help each other develop and thrive professionally as well as to attract more black people to the field. That vision quickly expanded to include all ethnic and racial minorities as well as all disciplines working toward animal care and conservation. In 2020, a steering committee was formed and the Association of Minority Zoo & Aquarium Professionals (AMZAP) was officially created.