Dear Members and Friends,
It is a bittersweet moment today as I write to inform you that we will be cancelling the in-person 2020 AAMFT Annual Conference scheduled for November 12-15 in Orlando, Florida.
The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have hit us all hard. We have been forced to re-imagine the way we work. Our lives and those of our clients have been stressed dealing with health concerns and care disparities, economic impacts, and disruptions to our daily lives and those of our families. And we are uncertain of when this all will end.
That pain is now being compounded by the recent incidents of racial violence and trauma being inflicted upon so many members of our AAMFT family.
Historically, the AAMFT conference has offered us an opportunity to come together and discuss our role as MFTs in impacting societal change. We have been able to engage and join with our peers to reinforce our commitment to one another. There is certainly a great sense of loss in cancelling our largest event of the year, possibly at a time when we need it most, but ultimately the public health and safety concerns and uncertainty for in-person events dictate we must make this difficult decision.
But much as each of our MFTs have risen to the challenges and continue to do the work that is so necessary right now, I want to assure you that AAMFT will rise to this call. Staff will be using the weeks ahead to re-imagine our event with our speakers and researchers to move into a virtual format integrating opportunities for us all to learn and engage with one another in the ways we value.
As we have seen from our meaningful At Home series and the richness of our MFT Virtual Hangouts, we need to connect with others in the profession. Our members have been doing amazing work during this time and I have never been prouder to be an MFT and I believe our work can truly impact vitally necessary change.
So I encourage you to save the date on your calendar now for our Virtual AAMFT Annual Conference, to be held during the week of November 9, when we will gather together as a community and learn and grow together. I can promise you this will not be an experience you want to miss! And with our event now more accessible than ever, I hope you will be able to be a part of it.
And in the meantime, consider joining us for these impactful, cutting-edge training opportunities AAMFT is offering this month:
• Special At Home Session with Brittany Packnett (Tuesday, June 9; 1 – 2 p.m. eastern): Join us as we welcome award-winning national leader in social justice, and 2019 AAMFT Keynote Speaker, Brittany Packnett for a special At Home session. As an advocate for urgent systemic change at critical decision making tables, and an appointed member of both the Ferguson Commission and President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Brittany offers unique insights that MFTs can use to have courageous conversations with our clients about racism and systemic oppression. 1 CE will be offered.
• Virtual Advanced Clinical Institutes (June 25 – 26): Designed specifically for the advanced clinician and offered in our most intimate settings, the Institutes have been re-imagined to offer you two days of deep dives with some of the most cutting edge thinkers and trainers in our industry from around the world. Find out more at aamft.org/institutes
And as you continue to navigate these uncertain times, I would encourage you to check in often with our AAMFT blog. Recent resources such as our Resources for MFTs in a Racialized Climate and our Guide to Reopening Practices offer support and assistance. If you weren’t able to attend our At Home series sessions, recordings will be available for viewing throughout the summer. And if you are feeling a need to connect, be sure to join one of our Virtual MFT Hangouts to chat with other members.
Thank you for being a vital part of the AAMFT community.