Letter from 2021 Conference Planning Committee (8.16.2021)

August 16, 2021

Dear SSAWW Members,

The SSAWW Conference Planning Committee is continuously monitoring the Covid situation as it unfolds. Our current plan is to hold the in-person conference in Baltimore this November but if the health situation worsens we will announce changes no later than September 15.  If we decide to postpone the conference until November 2022 we will hold a small virtual symposium this November to allow members to share time-sensitive work.

The city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland are taking more health precautions than many other states, and as of mid-August Maryland has the fourth lowest positivity rate of any U.S. state. The careful actions being taken at the local level make us hopeful that an in-person conference is still possible. Should we decide to proceed, we will follow all local guidelines and restrictions and will also expect conference attendees to abide by additional protocols for the health and safety of our community.

We are extending the deadline for early conference registration to September 30, 2021. If we decide to postpone the conference we will refund the registration fee to those who have registered. 

Please note that the conference hotel, the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court, will refund hotel bookings up to 48 hours in advance of the first night booked.

We share your concerns about traveling during such uncertain times. As many of you know, SSAWW is a smaller society and does not have the organizational infrastructure to support an entirely virtual conference while still fulfilling our contract with the hotel. Though we have only one paid staff member, our part-time conference associate, we will do our best to be responsive to members’ questions and concerns. Please know that everyone’s health and safety is our number one priority.  

Thanks for your patience in these difficult times.

With best wishes,

SSAWW Conference Planning Committee

Patrick Allen, Advisory Board

Kimberly Blockett, Advisory Board

Jean Lee Cole, Advisory Board

DoVeanna Fulton, Advisory Board

Ellen Garvey, Vice President of Development

Christine Grogan, Vice President of Membership and Finances

Susan K. Harris, Advisory Board

Sara Kosiba, Conference Planning Associate

María Sánchez, Vice President of Organizational Matters

Jordan Von Cannon, Vice President of Publications

Sandra A. Zagarell, President