September 26, 2017
Dear ATTW members,
Given the social justice turn in technical communication, along with the current political and cultural climate, we feel strongly that our organization must continue to promote increased participation by members from underrepresented groups as their perspectives and contributions are essential to the future of our field. Maintaining and sustaining this vision and mission means that we must prioritize the voices and safety of our most vulnerable members. As such, the ATTW Executive Committee and this year’s conference program Co-Chairs, Natasha Jones and Blake Scott, take seriously the NAACP travel advisory for Missouri that advises people of color and other minorities traveling in the state to do so “with extreme CAUTION.” After careful consideration, we have decided to hold the ATTW 2018 conference March 13-14 at the Reardon Convention Center in Kansas City, Kansas, which is approximately 3 miles from the CCCC site, directly across the river.
We came to this decision through a series of discussions about our organizational goals and values, feedback solicited from our members, and the CCCCs survey responses and the Joint Caucus Statement. ATTW celebrates 45 years as an organization this year, and we concluded that the right thing to do for our organization is to move the conference so that our most vulnerable members might feel safer. Our decision to move is also one of solidarity as we take seriously the risks that some of our colleagues face with the NAACP travel advisory and the continuing injustices across our nation. The NAACP travel advisory implores us to “notify members of . . . [our] trade association . . . that they are traveling . . . in Missouri at their own risk and subject to unnecessary search seizure and potential arrest.” Because we understand that hosting the conference in KS may still require some of you to travel though MO, please know that we are developing plans for expanding accessibility and safety.
We hope the call for proposals will be distributed sometime this week, and soon after that we’ll provide additional information about lodging and travel. We are also planning social justice workshops and community engagement opportunities, and we welcome such proposals from our membership as well. As in the past, ATTW won’t schedule sessions on Thursday of the CCCCs (March 15) so that those of you participating in the CCCCs may attend both conferences.
Thank you to the members who have shared your perspectives on the ATTW 2018 conference planning. Those of you who volunteered to help with community outreach and direct action activities, safety planning, caucus forming, and more should expect to hear from us in November. If you have suggestions or comments for the executive committee, feel free to contact us, Michelle Eble at firstname.lastname@example.org and Angela Haas at email@example.com. We look forward to seeing all of you in Kansas City, Kansas!
Michelle F. Eble
Angela M. Haas