On behalf of the board of directors of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, thank you for your patience as we have been working to evaluate our options surrounding the National Convention, scheduled for September 10-13 in Chicago. The safety of our members has remained our foremost priority and always will. As such, we are exploring ways to facilitate professional development and networking opportunities that are typically offered at the National Convention in ways that are both safe and accessible.

At this time, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is still engaged in a contract with The Drake in Chicago. We have actively monitored developments with the virus, as well as local and state ordinances, over the last several months and have been working diligently to explore all options and considering what is best for our membership and the association. The contract stipulates that cancelling the convention unilaterally could mean that the association is responsible for more than $100,000 in cancellation fees. This fee would be detrimental to the financial well-being of the association, and the board of directors must take careful steps to ensure that this is not the case. However, we have retained counsel and are currently negotiating with the hotel.

We certainly understand that the uncertainty of the situation may be frustrating, but please trust that the board of directors has been working diligently to ensure that NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is able to weather this storm and serve generations of LGBTQ journalists to come.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate these negotiations. We anticipate that additional information will be available in the next week or so. The feedback that you provided this Spring has and will help tremendously as we solidify plans for an event that is safe and accessible. We ask, at this time, for your patience and for you to continue to save September 10-13 on your calendar. We will provide additional information as quickly as it becomes available. Stay tuned!

This time has been very challenging for all, and we would like to extend a very sincere thank you to all of the members who have reached out in support. We will meet again soon, even if behind a computer screen. Please exercise your own best judgment and self-care. Be safe and well, and thank you for being a member of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

Published: July 9. Read the most up-to-date information here.