As we tredge closer to some sort of normalcy within this pandemic, we find ourselves at odds with this new form of learning via online platforms. When we started to make our plans for 2021, we first determined the availability and capacity of our speakers and attendees to either attend a conference in person or online. Overwhelmingly, both speakers and attendees still felt most comfortable not being in person.
However, as we continue through 2021, we are facing an unprecedented time of change, renewal, burnout, and mental health capacity. This pandemic has not only affected our ways of living, but also our mental health and our capacity to fill the needs of those around us.
As we know, an overwhelming percentage of Appalachia still does not have internet capabilities and the pandemic hasn't really changed much of that, unfortunately. Equitably, we must think not only about the accessibility of an online platform related conference, but also one that is equitable to those who do not have internet access in Appalachia - after all, the target audience is an Appalachian attendee.
After much thought, conversation, and reflection, we have decided to cancel the online conference events entirely. We plan to work towards conference planning for October 2022 in person in Appalachia. This was not an easy decision to make, but we do believe it is the best and most accessible one for Appalachian supporters.
We hope to see you in 2022! Mark your calendars as we have our date set with our venue Rocky Gap Casino and Resort in Flintstone, MD on October 22-23, 2022. Let us know below what topics would be interesting to you or you'd like to see ABN bring to an in-person conference.
Getting a refund We have automatically refunded every ticket sold either for our in person original conference or the online conference.
Check in for updates Check back at www.appalachianbreastfeedingnetwork.org to find information on future conferences. We plan to meet in Flintstone, MD at Rocky Gap Casino and Resort on October 20-22, 2022. Thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you at our next event in the future!