I hope this message finds you and your family safe and well. In January, as we rang in the new year, I had great expectations for 2020 and believed it would be a banner year. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment and the Treaty of Versailles; the country will hold its 59th quadrennial presidential election; and the Census Bureau has invited us all to be counted. As such, I was looking forward to a year full of civic conversation and participation. Little did I know that the world’s pandemic would change the way we teach and provide support to students; would change the way we spend time together; and would change the way we access healthcare.
In addition to responding to the realities of the pandemic, the ACHE Board of Directors has been working through a number of other important decisions. We hope the actions we have taken will serve you well as we move through the summer and into the fall semester. A summary of those activities appears below:
- We have made the difficult decision to host the October 2020 conference virtually. In the next several weeks, you will begin to hear more about the details of the conference (including a significantly reduced price). For now, I hope you will continue to save the dates for the virtual conference - October 11 – 14th. We’ll be soliciting nominations for ACHE awards and reaching out to all of you who submitted proposals soon.
- We have selected a site for the 2021 conference! Guess where – New Orleans, LA! We couldn’t miss an opportunity to return to the Association’s favorite city. We hope we’ll be able to meet together in person in the Crescent City in October 2021.
- Beginning Wednesday, July 8th, ACHE will begin hosting a webinar series. You’ll learn more about the topics and speakers for this series next week. This free webinar series is meant to help you hone your professional skills in this time of change and uncertainty.
- We’ll have a new home office beginning October 2020. Nardone Consulting will be taking on the role of the new home office. We’re excited about this new partnership and welcome Natalie Nardone and her colleagues to our Association.
- The Board of Directors has decided not to hold elections this summer. Given the tumultuous nature of the year, the realities of constricted budgets, our first-ever virtual conference, and the shift in the home office, the Board felt this was a time when we should provide some stability to the organization.
Finally, and pointedly, I want to acknowledge the shock and anger I felt in the wake of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless other Black people in the United States of America. ACHE is committed to creating an organizational culture that supports and enhances professional development and leadership opportunities regardless of race, age, ethnicity, creed, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. Our values require that we condemn these racist behaviors and support policy reform that dismantles institutionalized racism. Racism, in its most vile form of violence and murder and in its everyday iteration of verbal and non-verbal abuse, violates the Association’s values and disrupts our abilities to work, serve, and learn. As educators, it is our duty to do the difficult work to stand against racist actions, ideas, and policies. As such, the Association is looking to reactivate the work of the Committee on Inclusiveness. The chair two months ago. I hope you will consider serving or leading this committee. Please email me if you are interested in serving in this capacity.
Amy D. Johnson