Dear EMA Community,
As we approach AC22 in September in Florida, we are following legislative developments in the state closely. At EMA, we believe that every adult and child in a school community should feel known, needed, and cared for. In essence, we believe that every adult and child should feel a sense of belonging in their school community. We therefore strongly oppose Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which makes it more difficult for schools to have age-appropriate conversations with students about gender identity and sexual orientation.
Despite our opposition to the State's law, AC22 is taking place in Orlando, Florida. We considered moving the event to another location, but after careful review, we determined this would incur such a significant financial burden that we would be unable to move forward with the conference.
EMA is deeply committed to the work of anti-bias in the admission process, supporting LGBTQIA+ admission professionals, and the work our members do every day.
We believe we can make a more impactful statement by using AC22 as an advocacy opportunity, which includes:
- EMA will make a donation in the amount of $10,000 to Zebra Coalition, a nationally recognized nonprofit network serving LGBTQIA+ youth in Orlando, which was selected by our AC22 Host Committee with input from our LGBTQIA+ Admission Professionals affinity group.
- The AC22 keynote speaker is neuroscientist and entrepreneur, Dr. Vivienne Ming. She was described by Out Leadership as obsessed with using technology to maximize human potential.
- AC22 will include LGBTQIA+ and DEIJ tracks during concurrent sessions.
- EMA’s affinity groups for Admission People of Color, Women in Admission, and LGBTQIA+ Admission Professionals will meet during the in-person and online conferences.
Our work on these important topics is not limited to the Annual Conference. Additional initiatives will continue beyond our time together in the fall, such as:
- The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) score reports have been redesigned relating to gender.
- The Standard Application Online (SAO) questions regarding gender, race, and ethnicity have been updated.
- EMA’s 2022 State of the Independent School Enrollment Industry Report will include new questions related to the diversity of enrollment professionals.
- Professional development courses and events will continue to be offered related to anti-bias in the enrollment process and DEIJ training for school leaders.
- Affinity spaces will continue to be offered throughout the year for Admission People of Color, Women in Admission, and LGBTQIA+ Admission Professionals.
EMA commits to conference venues many years in advance due to the requirements of planning a large scale event. We seek locations in different parts of the country to enable the attendance of as many member schools as possible. Moving forward, we will carefully assess conference locations in light of ongoing legislative developments.
We wake up every morning motivated to serve you, our members, because of the meaningful work you do every day to support all of the adults and children in your schools. Aligning our impact with broader industry values is central to how we approach our work.
We look forward to seeing you at AC22. Whether you join us in person or online we believe it will be a remarkable experience.