April 21, 2016
Dear SACSA membership,
I write to share recent developments within SACSA regarding the location of our 2018 annual conference. According to the conference rotation schedule established in our Policies & Procedures manual, the 2018 conference should be held in Virginia, Central North Carolina, or South Carolina. This geographical rotation exists to offer the annual conference in all areas of the SACSA region. Recently, we have held conferences in Virginia (Norfolk-2013) and South Carolina (Greenville-2015). Thus, during the mid-year meeting of our Executive Council in February, the EC directed Jane Adams-Dunford, our Time & Place Chair, to explore options in Charlotte, Wilmington, and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Shortly after the EC began exploring conference options for 2018, North Carolina passed House Bill 2, a statewide nondiscrimination law that does not include protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, this law nullifies and prohibits local nondiscrimination ordinances designed to protect LGBTQA-identified individuals.
Inclusiveness is one of our SACSA Core Values. Thus, in direct response to this new law and in accordance with our core values, the EC voted unanimously in our most recent meeting on April 14 to direct Jane to pursue conference locations in Virginia and South Carolina. Out of deep concern that we would not be able to offer a conference experience that is welcoming and inclusive of all identities, we will not hold our 2018 conference in North Carolina. I plan to notify state and local elected officials in North Carolina of our association’s decision, including the estimated economic impact. The process to select our 2018 conference location in Virginia and South Carolina will commence immediately.
As the EC, we discussed the impact of similar pending legislation in many states throughout the region. We remain committed to responding in the event these proposals become law.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have questions or concerns regarding this issue or any other SACSA-related business.