Top Ten 2018 Conference Moments

By Aaron Andersen
President, International ACAC 

In July 2018, International ACAC hosted our 25th annual Conference at Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans.  It was an incredible week of learning, sharing, connecting with friends, and southern hospitality in New Orleans.  You can read the official Press Release HERE... but I thought I'd take a minute to share my personal favorite moments from the no particular order...

Top Ten 2018 Conference Moments

1.  Dr. Michael White creating and performing a song for our conference on the topic of Peace, right on the spot during our Conference Opening session.

2.  Experiencing the wonder, watching members like Milafu Otieno from Nairobi and 2017 Scholar Fernando La Rotta from Cairo give the talk of their lives at the Conference Chats.

3. The perfectly measured five kilometer 5K Run/Walk - And personally coming in third, which meant a $50 contribution to the International ACAC Global Fund (matching the $25 for each of the runners who beat me).

4. Sharing the strongest quiet moment in the conference, as my dyad partner was literally brought to tears by the chance to be in a space where she could truly share her experience as a woman of color during the Let's Talk @ Lunch Diversity and Inclusion session with Lisa Walker.

5.  Presenting with Julie Merendino and Jordan England in a session that not only featured a Kahoot quiz, but a seated yoga break and a closing Google Doc LIVE collaborative group-edit; and in doing so inspiring members to continue to offer sessions that are not only informative, but interactive.

6. The energy of Drag Queen Bingo and reveling in the joy of the crowd. The common knowledge that some in the room, those that might live in societies that may not be as free...were experiencing a safe and welcoming and celebratory space unlike ever before.

7. My personal joy, from hearing members share with me directly that thanks to this conference, and its varied activities and interactions, they want to become involved and contribute to the Association in the future.

8. Working with our Association's Executive Board to build on our strategic goals during two and half days of pre-conference meetings. Highlights of this time for me included drafting a framework for stronger regional resources, building a crisis response plan, and the next steps to delivering Opportunity Grants to our members through the Global Fund.

9. Morning conversation with the pro-bono counselor group working with impacted students in Nepal. As part of this meeting we heard directly from Selena Malla, USEF Advisor currently in Nepal; it was powerful testimony. The Executive Board shared with these counselors our association's response to the Nepali Student Scholarship Cancellations

10. Dancing aboard a Mardi Gras-style parade float and celebrating an amazing conference with our members.

Thank you to our host campus partners Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans for making this past week unforgettable.  Particularly, all of the student volunteers and the organizing team of John Head and Harvey Werner at Loyola, and Nora Colman, Paul Burgess and the incredible Becky Ancira at Tulane.

Finally, because I'm "That Dad" that turns all his family vacation photos into cheesy video montages...I share with you my personal video recollection of the Conference:  

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