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An Important Update on the 2021 Conference

Following many conversations evaluating available information and a great deal of prayerful consideration, DignityUSA’s Board of Directors has made the unanimous decision to postpone our planned 2021 conference in San Diego, CA, and to offer an opportunity to gather on-line using new and evolving technologies to create a high quality, interactive experience. We are moving forward in planning for an in-person gathering in the summer of 2022, in hopes that conditions will allow us to be together at that time.

Our main priority is preserving the health and safety of all members of the Dignity community. Given the age span of our community, the reality that many of us deal with underlying health conditions, including HIV, cancers, and other immuno-compromising concerns, and the fact that we have many members who have personal or professional care-giving responsibilities, we felt conditions are not yet stable enough to encourage travel and hotel-based gathering in a large group. We also know that many members of our community have been impacted financially by job losses, cutback in hours, or pay cuts, and need more time to stabilize their economic situation.

We know that, for many, DignityUSA conferences are an opportunity to reconnect with friends who live at a distance, as well as to make connections with new people. We have witnessed the importance of opportunities to pray and socialize in communities large and small throughout the pandemic. We understand the challenges and opportunities that on-line programming and prayer have presented. We will be taking all of this into account as we plan the as yet unnamed on-line gathering, tentatively planned for September 2021.

We want to thank the members of the National Conference Committee, who have provided wisdom and guidance, and who have been very gracious and flexible in responding to the changes demanded by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are currently building a team to plan and deliver this interim event, which we expect will offer time for prayer, an inspiring speaker or panel, some breakout sessions, and a chance for the folks who will have recently been elected as the incoming President and Vice President to address you. We want to present a flexible event that can be experienced from the comfort of your home, with a few friends or family members, or even in a small group, if that is a safe option. If you feel called to help with this event, please contact any of us. Our emails are provided below.

Details about this event will be rolled out in the months ahead, but we wanted to let you know about this change in plans now, as we know many people build vacation plans around DignityUSA conferences. All of the Board members know that we will miss the incredible joy and love that are hallmarks of our in-person conferences, and yearn for the day we can resume such gatherings. However, we are committed to following the best public health directives accessible to us. Asking you to get on planes or trains or drive long distances to gather with a few hundred other people is just not what we should be doing at this time.

If you have questions, please reach out to us at the emails below. In the meantime, please stay safe, well, and connected to our community and our work.

In hope,

Chris Pett, President  President@Dignityusa.org
Meli Barber, Vice President  Vicepresident@Dignityusa.org
Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director  Execdir@Dignityusa.org