March 10, 2020

The following is a joint message from NAFSA’s executive director and CEO, Esther D. Brimmer, DPhil and Dr. LaNitra Berger, Vice President for Public Policy & Practice, NAFSA Board of Directors:

Dear advocates,

We are writing to inform you that after careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to cancel NAFSA’s 2020 Advocacy Day. In light of the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation, the public health risks posed by traveling and gathering as a group, and the fact that we are unable to predict if Congress will remain open to receive visitors next week, we cannot, in good conscience, ask you to travel to Washington at this time.

We did not make this decision lightly. Advocacy Day is one of our flagship programs. Advocates like you have perennially demonstrated the value and power of convening our grassroots partners on Capitol Hill. Our decision to forego Advocacy Day this year is by no means an indication of our level of investment in this proud tradition. We will regroup.

We are strongly committed to mobilizing advocates to influence policy. Now more than ever, we will be counting on you to join us in raising our voices to affect change on a year-round basis. There are myriad other ways we can manifest our voices and be impactful, virtually. We promise to share more details as soon as we are able.

On a practical matter, we will begin processing refunds for all participants this week. Any specific questions or concerns should be directed to our advocacy team.

From all of us at NAFSA, we wish you, your family, your campus, and your communities all the best.

Esther D. Brimmer and LaNitra Berger