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These are extraordinary times. The National Council for History Education was so looking forward to bringing together our friends and partners at our 30th Anniversary Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. It has become, clear, however, that proceeding as planned is not in the interests of the health and safety of our attendees. The Governor of Ohio has declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and we do not feel that moving forward with a large group event is wise.
We are not willing, however, to give up on the opportunity to bring together our community of history educators. Our incredible partners at the National Humanities Center, especially board members Andy Mink and Mike Williams, have graciously offered to help us take our entire conference online, in as close to the same schedule as possible. We hope all of our participants will join us. We will still feature amazing presenters and historians, and will even host an online exhibit hall. We will continue to offer Professional Development Hours for attendance. We will also be recording sessions to share with attendees, so you will have access to more content than under normal circumstances.
We know that this is a challenging time for our country, and we want to be part of meeting that challenge. The C3 Framework, which many of you use in your history classrooms, emphasizes that the ultimate goal of teaching Social Studies is to promote civic action. We feel that the best action we can take is to help put the COVID-19 crisis in historical context, and to help educators work out how best to teach about pandemics. We will be infusing our online conference with added presentations by noted historians on the history of pandemics. We hope that this opportunity to reflect on the past can play a part in helping our society move forward in a constructive way.
There is no doubt that the cancellation of this conference is a hardship, for attendees, and for NCHE. Know that if you were staying at the Hilton Downtown, your room will be refunded in full. If you booked a non-conference hotel, you are responsible for canceling your reservations. Airlines are proving very flexible about refunds and rescheduling. If you do not wish to attend our conference in its new form, we will provide you with a refund, but we hope you will continue with us. While we cannot gather in Cleveland, now is the time for history educators to come together. We have an important role to play in these uncertain times.
You do not need to re-register for the NCHE 30th Anniversary Digital Conference. We will send all existing registrants information about how to attend sessions and exhibitions online. None of us anticipated a gathering like this, but we are excited to share a wonderful experience. See you virtually on March 20th!
Executive Director, NCHE