Braille Monitor               December 2023

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Convention Location Update and Planning

by Mark Riccobono

Mark Riccobono holds his NFB member coin.The 2024 National Convention of the National Federation of the Blind is scheduled for July 3 through July 8, 2024, at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida. This letter is an important update to our members and supporters about our deliberations and plans for our upcoming convention. This letter is also an invitation for you to continue to share your feedback, ideas, and resources as we prepare for 2024 and beyond.

In order to secure the best possible convention conditions for our members, we must sign our convention contracts many years in advance. After signing our contract for 2024, the enactment of new laws in the state of Florida resulted in serious concerns within our community. As with everything we do, we rely on our members and our supporters to help steer us through unexpected circumstances that are out of our control.

Our Board of Directors released an initial statement regarding the location of the 2024 National Convention (https://nfb.org/get-involved/national-convention/statement-board-directors-federation-community-regarding-location), and since that time our leaders have been listening to our members and considering additional actions. This letter is intended to brief you on the factors which impact our decision for 2024, the critical factors that go into selecting a national convention location, and the additional measures we are securing for NFB24.

Our Decision to Go to Florida

As America’s transformative membership and advocacy organization of blind people, our only purpose in visiting Florida is to further the work of our organization through our annual Convention, which is our supreme governing authority. Our work is centered on defending the rights of blind people to live the lives they want. As our code of conduct affirms, the National Federation of the Blind does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, marital status, age, genetic information, disability, political affiliation, or any other characteristic or intersectionality of characteristics.

As shared at the September Presidential Release to our members, the National Federation of the Blind Board of Directors discussed in depth the concerns from some members about Florida and reviewed recent travel advisories. The board specifically noted that the travel advisories from other civil rights organizations do not call for boycotts of or travel bans to the state of Florida.

The goal of the advisories was to ensure everyone had complete information about the state policies so individuals could make decisions for themselves. We also considered the:

While we made the decision to go to Florida in 2024, we have also committed to actions to make the upcoming convention a meaningful demonstration of the power and diversity of our community. Furthermore, we remain fully committed to the future by digging deeper with the following priority from our current strategic plan: Evaluate and enhance the national convention and other events to ensure they are inclusive and welcoming and continue to add value to our community.

Selecting Convention Locations

There are many factors considered when identifying, evaluating, and ultimately selecting a future convention location. These issues can be complicated when factors out of our control change after we sign a contract. Critical factors for convention location selection are:

As we evaluate potential convention destinations against our selection criteria, we will closely consider all factors that affect the members of our community and our organization. We believe we have a strong track record of balancing all of the factors and putting on a quality, safe, and empowering convention for all attendees. However, we welcome partners that may be able to further improve the unique experience that is a Federation convention in the future.

Doing More in 2024

We have several months before we meet in Orlando for the largest gathering of blind people in the world, and we are working diligently to remain vigilant, innovative, and inclusive in our convention planning as we anticipate bringing thousands of people together. Our aim is to roll out specifics with the launch of our convention registration expected to open on March 1, 2024.
Here is our current action plan:

The National Federation of the Blind deeply appreciates all the members and supporters who are committed to helping the organized blind movement work through these difficult issues as we continue to build a twenty-first-century movement that represents all blind people and does the best to make sure that we set an example for the rest of society about how people should be included.

We hope that you will be a part of our 2024 National Convention, and we invite your feedback, ideas, and resources in making this our most dynamic convention ever. Thank you for all you do to center blind people and amplify our voice in society.

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