Dear AGM Participants,
Every year, we look forward to convening our members, activists and supporters at our Annual General Membership meeting. This year’s event in San Diego was no exception – more than 600 people were expected to join us to learn about and take action on human rights issues across the world. Unfortunately, the growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19 have led us to make the very difficult decision to cancel the convening in San Diego.
While there is still not enough information from the CDC or the White House about the spread of the virus in the United States, we have to prioritize the health and safety of our staff, members, and activists, along with all of the other people working to make the convening possible. We considered the impact of having hundreds of us traveling across the country, and the consequences of exposing our loved ones to illness once we return home. We recognize the risks of this particular illness and serious health consequences for those exposed. We decided to do what’s best for our people.
We want to emphasize that this decision was not taken lightly but in service of our members, volunteers, supporters and staff. We appreciate very much the efforts of staff to make this AGM the premier human rights conference in the country. They are now working to reconfigure plans so that we might be able to hold some sessions of the conference virtually. In the next few days, we will share further information about how you can join different events of the conference online.
We also recognize that this decision has been made with only short notice before the AGM, and some of you will have incurred costs as a result. If you have registered for the AGM already and have incurred costs for which you need reimbursement, we are willing to reimburse you. As a non-profit organization, we ask that you first try to minimize costs by cancelling flights or other travel arrangements and obtaining refunds or credit for future travel where possible. After taking those steps, you are welcome to submit your reimbursement request within fourteen (14) days along with all relevant receipts. Please note that all reimbursements will be made out of the generous donations of our members, so we ask you to consider whether you can help to sustain our organization’s resources by covering your own costs. Unfortunately, we will not be able to recover many of the costs of the conference, so all assistance from our supporters is appreciated.
We appreciate your understanding in this situation and we will share more information in the days to come. We look forward to seeing you online in our virtual sessions.
The AIUSA Board of Directors