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Statement on COVID-19

Statement on COVID-19

March 18, 2020

Diversity Abroad is pleased to announce that the 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference  — Amplifying Voices: Moving from Rhetoric to Systemic Change — has been rescheduled to September 30 to October 3, 2020 in New Orleans.  We are excited to be able to return to the Sheraton New Orleans and are grateful to all attendees and sponsors for your continued support of the annual Diversity Abroad Conference.

Diversity Abroad incurred a significant financial loss due to postponing the conference but we know it was the right decision to make. We recognize that the larger Diversity Abroad community around the world is experiencing similar hardships and financial implications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the postponement of the conference was not anticipated, we appreciate your patience and continued support as our team has worked on finalizing the details.

Please refer to our FAQs for more information.

The annual Diversity Abroad Conference continues to be the flagship event for those in the higher education field who are dedicated to making the benefits of global education equitable and leveraging such learning opportunities to prepare all of our students – domestic and international – to thrive academically, interpersonally and professionally.  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic only underscores the importance of all our students being prepared to take on the challenges and opportunities presented by our interconnected global society. We look forward to you being a part of the conference this fall as we all strive to make the benefits of global education equitable.

As always, if you have questions please contact us conference@diversityabroad.org.

Wishing all of you to stay healthy and safe,

Andrew Gordon

March 10, 2020

We deeply regret that due to the ongoing and increased challenges presented by COVID-19 we are unable to host the 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference in New Orleans this week.

The annual Diversity Abroad Conference is the flagship event for those in the higher education field who are dedicated to making the benefits of global education equitable and leveraging such opportunities to prepare all of our students – domestic and international – to thrive academically, interpersonally and professionally. The Diversity Abroad team takes great pride in bringing our community together to learn and inspire each other to continue to advance this important work. As recent as last night we had every intention of moving forward with the conference in New Orleans. However, the evolving nature and fallout from COVID-19 – the public health concerns, current and potential new travel restrictions and lack of clarity on how to proceed with a gathering of our size from the national level – has changed the calculus. While Diversity Abroad will experience a significant financial setback due to this decision, ultimately the health and well-being of attendees and the Diversity Abroad team is our top priority. This is not a decision that was made lightly as we know it impacts presenters, those nominated for awards, professional and student attendees as well as the small businesses and the local economy that benefit from groups like Diversity Abroad hosting our conference in New Orleans.

Though we will not meet this week for 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference we are not cancelling the event but postponing it until Fall 2020 in New Orleans. We’re aware of other higher education conferences and events in the fall and are working to schedule the conference at a time that will create the least amount of conflict with other events. We know many of you will have questions regarding this change. Please be patient as we sort out the details. We will be in contact with further details no later than Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

If you have made hotel reservations at the Sheraton New Orleans, please be sure to get in touch with the hotel directly if you wish to cancel your reservation. Further, we recommend you check with your airline carrier to inquire about waived change/cancellation fees.

This is an extremely challenging time for our world and the international education community.  As we grapple with the impact COVID-19 has on our institutions/ organizations as well as on our colleagues and students, please continue to take the lead to foster a sense of inclusion and belonging in the wake of the concerning rise of xenophobia and racism. Our thoughts are with all of those who are personally impacted by this health crisis and the institutions/organizations around the world that are bearing the brunt of these evolving and unprecedented events.

Warm regards,

Andrew Gordon
Founder and CEO
Diversity Abroad

March 9, 2020

With the COVID-19 threat increasing daily, we are aware many of you are concerned with your travel plans for the upcoming Diversity Abroad Conference in New Orleans. We are also aware that other organizations in the higher education industry have cancelled their conferences in the past few days while others plan to proceed with their events.

Your health and well-being remain a top priority. We are working closely with the Sheraton New Orleans and exploring options for our community’s flagship event focused on equitable access to global education for all students to move forward while maintaining the health and safety of our attendees. We will be in touch with an update no later than the end of day on Wednesday. We truly appreciate your patience as we navigate this challenging time.

Warm regards,

Andrew Gordon
Founder and CEO
Diversity Abroad

March 4, 2020

The wide-reaching impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold across the world and within the international education community.  Many of our colleagues are working tirelessly around the clock to support the safety and well-being of their students and colleagues. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to everyone who is affected by this evolving situation.

The 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference is scheduled to proceed as planned. While there have been no confirmed cases to date of infection in New Orleans, and there have been no travel restrictions or local ordinances indicating imminent risk in New Orleans, we continue to monitor the situation and follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the City of New Orleans Health Department. Additionally we are working closely with the Sheraton New Orleans to follow recommended measures by health authorities to ensure the conference space supports the health and safety of our attendees.

The safety and well-being of the Diversity Abroad community is important to us. With that in mind we ask attendees to also  follow these guidelines from the World Health Organization:

  • Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin.
  • Maintain social distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth: Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene: This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

We also strongly recommend a no-handshake policy during the conference and the Sheraton New Orleans will have hand-sanitizer stations available throughout the hotel.  If necessary we may modify certain conference related events to support a safe and healthy event.

Attendees who have questions should contact us at conference@diversityabroad.org.

February 27, 2020

The international education community and the world continue to navigate the unfolding situation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted directly by the virus.

Diversity Abroad is monitoring the developments and the potential impact on the 8th annual Diversity Abroad Conference in New Orleans on March 14-17, 2020.  At this time, the conference will proceed as planned. We will communicate any changes to attendees should the situation change.

For information regarding the virus, please refer to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

As the situation unfolds and undoubtedly affects our industry, Diversity Abroad urges the international education community to take the lead on fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging in the wake of the rise of xenophobia and racism.

Attendees who have questions should contact us at conference@diversityabroad.org.