AEFP 46th Annual Conference Call for Proposals
Held Virtually from March 17-20, 2021
Submission Dates: Oct 1 - Nov 13, 2020
Promoting Equity and Opportunity Through Education Policy Research
This past March as we were putting the finishing touches on our 2020 Annual Conference in Fort Worth, the world was rapidly shifting around us with the emergence of COVID-19 - moment by moment we had new information on the spread of the virus and the danger of it. At the last moment, we canceled our physical conference and within eight days moved to a virtual conference, one of the first associations to do so. With your support and participation, the conference was by most measures a success.
While we are beyond the newness of the virus, we are not beyond its dangers. The health, safety, and well-being of the entire community is our highest priority. The COVID-19 disease outbreaks, its persistence and continued spread, as well as the restrictions on large gatherings, the danger related to travel, and the limitations institutions have placed on travel, make it impossible to hold a face-to-face event. Thus, our Board of Directors has decided to move the 2021 Conference, originally scheduled to be held in Baltimore, to a virtual setting.
Nothing can replace the dynamics of interacting with others in a physical space, whether that is the happenstance meeting in the hallway hotel or the meeting up for drinks and dinner with longtime friends whom we see once a year. We do understand that and the Board did consider changing the dates of the conference, pushing out a face-to-face meeting into fall. But, even in these days, professional schedules are difficult to shift. Thus, we are opting to keep the AEFP annual conference in March and another hold it virtually for another year. A key advantage of knowing now, rather than a week before that the conference will be virtual, is the extended time our program committee, chaired by President-Elect Katharine Strunk, will have to plan and adapt to the challenges and possibilities that a virtual format offers.
We have not yet finalized our conference rates, but we will offer significant discounts as well as a hardship rate for those for whom funds are even more limited than ever before. Please note, however, that AEFP has relatively low membership dues and we rely on conference registration fees to help cover a substantial portion of our annual operating costs, in addition to the costs of running the conference. We do understand in these days that many are struggling financially, and we will ask those who are able to help out with financial contributions to make conference attendance possible for more students and to expand the reach of our diversity scholars program.
Lastly, we look forward to offering programing this fall that will help our members connect to one another. At the same time we will continue our work towards becoming an antiracist association, holding a forum to explore AEFP's past and present and to envision a richer and even more meaningful future.
Although we will miss seeing everyone in person in March, we know that we will continue to grow and build community even as we temporarily move online.
On behalf of your Board of Directors,