March 31, 2021

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 2021 National Convention. The convention is scheduled for September 9-12 and we look forward to coming together at that time. The safety of our members has remained our foremost priority and always will. As such, the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists national board is continuing to closely monitor the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this time, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is engaged in a contract with The Drake in Chicago. It is our sincerest hope that we will all be able to assemble safely very soon. Despite the encouraging rise in vaccinations, we are still actively monitoring developments with the virus, as well as local and state ordinances in place to mitigate the spread of the virus, including in Chicago. It is clear that our members are eager to gather in person soon. 

At this point, we are pursuing another mostly virtual National Convention in 2021, with the hope that current mitigation efforts and the rise in vaccination will allow us to make in-person gathering available to those who wish to do so in September. While we are optimistic, we continue to weigh all of the information currently available to us and are unable to commit to what that might look like at this time. Regardless of whether we are able to have an in-person component, the convention will happen September 9-12. Our contract with The Drake stipulates that cancelling the convention unilaterally could mean that the association is responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in cancellation fees. These fees would be detrimental to the financial well-being of the association, and the board of directors must take careful steps to maintain the strong footing the association has achieved over the last few years.

We are asking for your continued patience as we evaluate the situation and work toward planning the best convention we can. We will share all pertinent information with the membership as soon as it becomes available. We understand that the uncertainty may be frustrating, but the board of directors is working diligently to ensure that we can provide an opportunity for our members to gather safely in 2021.

For the time being, we ask that you save September 9-12 on your calendar for the convention and keep an eye out for additional information, including registration links and programming details, which will be released soon. 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.