NACADA is fully committed to diversity and inclusion. We welcome and embrace all who bring diverse backgrounds, ideas, identities, and opinions to the Association because that is where our strength lies. We are proud of the continued engagement of our members as we work diligently to provide the most effective professional support possible.
Consistent with these strongly held beliefs, the NACADA Board of Directors, NACADA Leaders, and the NACADA Executive Office will uphold our core values of inclusiveness, diversity, and engagement for all participants from across the globe to ensure that the NACADA Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky in October is welcoming to all.
We understand that state-funded travel to Kentucky is prohibited for some of our California members, based upon California statute AB 1887 that restricts state-sponsored travel to states whose statutes appear to allow discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, or void local protections against such discrimination. We want to make certain you are aware that our commitment to the inclusion of all members and conference participants remains resolute.
Planning an event the size of our NACADA annual conferences takes years, with convention center, hotel, and service provider contracts signed several years in advance. Negotiations with the Kentucky International Convention Center and host hotels began in 2014 and contracts were signed in 2015, prior to the enactment of the 2017 travel ban by the state of California. Moving or cancelling a conference of this size, whether in 2017 or today, would require NACADA to break multiple legal contracts, leading to sizable penalties to the Association. In addition to the financial issues, NACADA is committed to holding an annual conference each year so that members from around the world may learn, communicate and interact for the benefit of their students and their own professional development.
However, these considerations are secondary to the safety and well-being of our members. We remain confident that Louisville will be a welcoming place for all participants at the 2019 NACADA Annual Conference.
While the Mayor of Louisville’s 2017 request to the California Attorney General for a waiver of the travel ban was not approved, Louisville continues to publicly affirm its commitment as a welcoming and inclusive city. In 1999, Louisville was the first city in Kentucky to have passed the LGTBQ Fairness Ordinance. Also, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s Annual Municipal Equality Index examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are to the LGBTQ community. For the last four years, Louisville has received a perfect score of 100 on the Index. In addition, the University of Louisville was named one of the most LGBT-conscious campuses in the South, according to the Campus Pride Index. If you would like to connect with organizations working with LGBTQ+ concerns in Kentucky, you may consider the Fairness Campaign.
NACADA recognizes and values the need to work collectively towards building diverse and inclusive communities in our neighborhoods and on our campuses across the world. Our successful work as advisors depends upon our commitment and ability to do so. Here is what we are working on right now:
- We have communicated with the NACADA members at California public institutions affected by the travel ban.
- We are working directly with the NACADA Inclusion and Engagement Committee, Multicultural Advising Community, LGBTQA Advising and Advocacy Community, the Emerging Leaders Program and anyone else interested in implementing ideas for the conference.
- Our 2019 Annual Conference Planning Committee Chair, Janet Spence at the University of Louisville, has reached out the Mayor’s office in Louisville. He has been a strong advocate for fairness.
- For the Louisville conference, we are looking at ways to share some of the content via streaming or recordings with those who would like to attend but may be unable to travel.
For over 40 years, NACADA has been committed to student success in our institutions regardless of where they may be located. We value the participation of our attendees in an inclusive and vibrant professional development culture that supports all of our members. Together we will network and learn how we can all best support our students across the world in inclusive and diverse environments.
For those who cannot join us this year at the Annual Conference, we know that your commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and our Association is as strong and powerful as those who will be able to attend. We value our members’ input and welcome your comments. If you would like to provide feedback, please click here. Note: you must be a NACADA member to access this form.