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#ARNOVA20 Weekly: Welcome from our Conference CoChairs!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Welcome to ARNOVA’s 49th Annual conference!

When we developed this year’s conference theme last September, we could never have anticipated the level of disruption that the Coronavirus pandemic would bring to all of our lives. In addition to the challenges faced due to the pandemic, we have been seeing rising concerns about racial injustice, police brutality, economic disparities, voter suppression, threats to personal freedoms, and environmental injustices across our communities. Let us be honest: for many of us, life right now Is. Not. Normal. Most of us are trying our best to understand what is going on, to figure things out, and to deal with hardships and losses. And we are often doing so with a high level of despair.

However, individual citizens are still trying to make a difference, from small acts of kindness to active engagement with change. From Black Live Matter in the United States to the global Climate Action protests, citizens around the world are demanding that actions be taken to protect the planet and ensure that we all have equal opportunity to live—and, to do so with dignity, justice, equity, and fairness.

For this year’s conference, we invited you to reflect on the role and responsibility of citizens in organizing, mobilizing, and activating their time and skills in ways the best serve our collective interests in the fights for climate change and social justice. Many panels and papers at the conference will deal with the roles that nonprofits play in addressing climate change and social justice, the work that philanthropy has done in changing our environmental, political, economic, and social landscapes, and the ability of citizens (i.e., you and me) to shape the structures and roles of communities and institutions. This is why we are extremely excited to have Megan Ming Francis and Vanessa Nakate join us at the opening plenary to discuss these issues. We are grateful to Rhodri Davies for moderating the plenary.

As conference cochairs, we thank those who are presenting and those who are participating in other ways. We are grateful to the 35 track chairs who pushed through and helped us review more than 350 proposals. We also thank the conference sponsors for their renewed commitment to ARNOVA during these uncertain times as well as ARNOVA’s President and Board for their leadership. Finally, but certainly not least, our gratitude goes to ARNOVA’s executive director and staff for their undivided efforts to convene us virtually.

We were supposed to be together in-person, in Indianapolis; instead, we will meet in a virtual space. We have organized, what we hope to be an engaging program that will allow you to continue to experience ARNOVA at its best, with enough flexibility and accommodations to meet your needs. Besides the usual paper sessions, including a special track on COVID—19, we have 48 posters for you to check out. Sections and common interest groups will host their business meetings as usual and the annual membership meeting takes place on Friday November 13 at 9:30AM ET. Please do not forget to join us as we congratulate this year’s awardees by visiting the Awards Hall and join us on Wednesday November 11 at 6:00PM ET for a social hour.

We look forward to seeing everyone we miss and we promise you that this conference will be one for the books!

Khaldoun AbouAssi & Lindsey McDougle
#ARNOVA20 Conference Co-Chairs




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The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) is a diverse community of scholars, educators, and practice leaders that strengthens the field of nonprofit and philanthropic research in order to improve civil society and human life.

441 W. Michigan St. | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Phone: 317.684.2120 | Fax: 317.684.2128
2014 Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action.

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