2020 Conference Information

Dear NARACES Members, 

I hope that this message finds you well. I would like to take a moment to keep you informed of some NARACES plans in the coming year. Like many other regions, we made the decision to cancel the 2020 conference. In the months since, a planning sub-committee convened to determine the best course of subsequent action. Though we surveyed membership, and there was some interest in holding an online conference, ultimately the decision was made to not hold such an event. In deciding this, we considered the amount of work that would go into this type of planning, including the time and effort it would require on the part of conference planners in an already difficult and stressful time. In the end, however, the decision to not hold a conference has opened the door to new opportunities for our region.   

Instead of a traditional conference weekend, NARACES will host a Year of Learning and Connection. Data from the survey indicated that members attend conferences for two main reasons: professional development and connecting with colleagues. We will aim to offer these two important components throughout the coming year by holding professional development opportunities and other points of connection for members. In the immediate and near future, we will begin reaching out to potential presenters, pooled from the proposals submitted to the 2020 conference, that indicated interest in presenting in an online format. Some sessions will provide CEs to attendees and others will not. This is dependent upon whether or not the respective proposals met NBCC criteria.  

Unfortunately, we will not be able to present all of the proposals that had previously been accepted for the 2020 conference, as nearly 200 proposals were selected at an acceptance rate of 70%. We have, though, created a program to honor all of the presenters and their respective proposals that were accepted for the conference. This program is attached and will be available on our NARACES website. Please take the time to read this program in celebration of the outstanding work being done in our region and beyond. 

In addition to professional development that will be offered over zoom, NARACES will also hold other standard conference programming at various times throughout the year. Some examples include the Emerging Leaders program, graduate student events, and career link sessions, all of which are being planned thanks to the hard work of the chairs of these committees. The NARACES award recipients will also be honored thanks to the awards committee. Other region committees, such as advocacy and wellness, are also planning activities and ways to connect members with one another. Please be on the lookout for all of these sessions as they are announced throughout the year. 

Though this will look different from other conference years in the past, we also recognize that this has not been a typical year. We have had trying months with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing pandemic of racism, both of which continue to persist and are associated with stress, trauma, and senseless death in our nation. We also had a recent tropical storm that wreaked havoc in parts of our region, leaving many people without power. We are all working to get through this difficult time, and the patience and encouragement we have for one another is invaluable. Many of us might feel overworked, “over-zoomed,” and overwhelmed with the array of emotions in response to the ongoing issues in our society. We might be facing a lot of work ahead with, perhaps, increased caseloads, social distance learning, an unknown job market, online meetings, and teaching changes to accommodate distant learning and/or hybrid classes. These demands can also be compounded for our colleagues who are facing systemic oppression and racism. Let’s also remember that beyond our professional roles, we are family members, partners, parents, care takers, friends, neighbors, and community members. With this we have connections, responsibilities, and activities that extend beyond our profession. Fortunately, our counselor training has taught us to be flexible and ready for change during crisis, as well as the importance of self-care. I hope we can find solace from work, moments of joy, periods of reflection, and time engaged in other activities that can help us maintain our wellness. Perhaps then we can continue to listen, learn, and actively take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. I wish you all the best of physical and mental health as we soon begin the new 2020-2021 academic year and hope we can all join together via the Year of Learning and Connection ahead.  

Sincerely, 

Michelle Hinkle 

2020-2021 NARACES President 

NBCC ACEP logo

 The North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Education and   Supervision (NARACES) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved  Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 1103. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NARACES is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

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