NOTE: Travelers may be interested in the resources for LGBTQ travelers provided by the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Statement on HB2 from the Executive Board:
The American Society of Biomechanics is a scientific organization absolutely dedicated to the discovery of knowledge and truth. We hold in our hearts and minds the belief that all people can contribute to this process of discovery and enlightenment. Our recent establishment of the ASB Diversity Chair and Diversity Committee, which occurred well before HB2 passed, further strengthens our commitment to this position and has allowed us to focus on supporting and enhancing diversity programming within the society. Specifically, the ASB is committed to supporting its members regardless of race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Establishing the Diversity positions has been most fulfilling for the Society.
The ASB Executive Board is aware of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act (House Bill 2 or HB2, Read Here), recently passed by the North Carolina General Assembly, and the potential impact this bill may have on our membership during our annual meeting in Raleigh, NC this August. The tone and language of this bill do not align with our Society’s diversity mission nor with the goals of all scientific endeavors. Because of the enactment of HB2, the Executive Board investigated and discussed the implications of a relocated meeting on the Society as a whole. Changing the meeting at this time is not financially sound for the Society. In fact, because the Society is bound by contracts already signed at the time of HB2’s passage, it would threaten the actual existence of the ASB. The Executive Board assures the membership that we would not choose to host our meetings in areas that discriminate, and we would have not considered meeting in North Carolina had HB2 been passed prior to site selection. While some members may think cancelling our Raleigh plans is best, we ask everyone to weigh the financial health of the Society in your considerations.
Regardless of your position on this bill, it is of the utmost importance that all of our members feel comfortable at the annual meeting; we will make every effort to assure that everyone’s needs are met. We have corresponded directly with the facilities and vendors engaged in putting on the meeting regarding the potential impact of House Bill 2 on the experience of our members to ensure that the meeting experience will reflect ASB’s diversity and inclusion mission. The 2016 ASB annual conference host institution, city, meeting facilities, hotel, and area hospitality partners have all reiterated their intention to support all visitors with respect and care regardless of race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. We also continue to emphasize our diversity and inclusion programming, including the Women in Science and Diversity breakfasts, Diversity travel awards, support for affinity groups, and the mentoring program. The meeting planning team is also available to assist any members who require specific accommodations. We look forward to a safe, welcoming, and productive annual meeting and very much hope to see you there.
Related to attendance, if you are considering withdrawing your abstract, we ask you to refrain from doing so until the end of the early-bird registration period, May 15, in case circumstances change as we hope they will. This is a rapidly evolving situation and there remains the possibility that HB2 will be repealed prior to August, alleviating travel concerns, and reinstating abstracts after withdrawal is challenging.
American Society of Biomechanics Executive Board
Paul DeVita, President
Darryl Thelen, Past President
Chris Hass, President-Elect
Karen Troy, Treasurer
Tamara Reid Bush, Treasurer-Elect
Stacie Ringleb, Secretary/Membership Chair
Cecile Smeesters, Education Chair
Robert Catena, Communications Chair
William Ledoux, Newsletter Editor
Clare Milner, Program Chair
Stephen Piazza, Program Chair Elect
Katherine Saul, Meeting Chair
Kristin Zhao, Diversity Chair
Amy Lenz, Student Representative