The Society for News Design announced in October 2015 it would bring its annual workshop and exhibition to Charlotte, N.C., in April 2017. We’re excited to welcome hundreds of visual journalists, artists, designers and developers to the Queen City. We’re also looking forward to working closely with local creatives to bring together a community of design that engages on many levels.

With that in mind, we are actively monitoring North Carolina General Assembly House Bill 2; a bill that was passed by the state to repeal a pro-LGBTQ ordinance approved by the Charlotte City Council. SND supports Charlotte’s explicit anti-discrimination policy, and stands in opposition to HB2. The Department of Justice has filed a suit against the state to challenge the law.

Inclusiveness and diversity have always been — and will continue to be — at the core of the Society’s values, its mission, and its vision.

“SND’s history of inclusion and focus on diversity is something we all take pride in, and take seriously,” said Stephen Komives, the Society’s executive director. “We have always opposed discrimination in any form. The North Carolina law is sad, misguided and hurtful. Its proponents are on the wrong side of history; I hope that realization is arrived at sooner rather than later.”

As hosts of this event, we assure you that the SND Charlotte organizing committee will clearly and unequivocally articulate the values of the Society to all event partners, speakers, and vendors, to ensure a safe, comfortable environment for all who participate. We’re pleased that our host venue, the Sheraton, shares our values, as strongly stated by Kelly Henninger, Director of National Accounts and the Society’s primary point of contact during negotiations with the hotel.

“Starwood is very proud of our long-public commitment to the LGBT community, and strive to be the industry benchmark for diversity and inclusion where all associates, guests, customers, partners and community constituents are invited, embraced, valued and respected,” Henninger said in an email. “As such, our policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. We can ensure that all 2017 Society for News Design meeting attendees will be welcomed into the city of Charlotte and truly enjoy their time at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel and Le Meridien Charlotte.”

We welcome comments, suggestions and questions either in the comments of this post or via e-mail. Please feel free to send email to executive director Stephen Komives, and be assured you will get a reply. Meanwhile, we will post updates here to keep everyone informed on what is happening with HB 2.

Respectfully,

The SND CLT organizing team:

Jon Wile, SND CLT chair,
American City Business Journals Email

Kyle Ellis, SND CLT co-chair,
Society for News Design Email

Steve Dorsey, SND CLT co-chair,
Austin American-Statesman Email

The SND officers:

Sara Quinn, SND president Email
R.M. Seaton Professional Journalism Chair, Kansas State University

Douglas Okasaki, SND vice president Email
Senior Designer, Gulf News

Tyson Evans, SND secretary/treasurer Email
Editor for Newsroom Strategy, The New York Times

Stephen Komives, SND executive director Email

Register now

About SND Charlotte

• Don’t miss your chance to UNITE & REBEL, register today: Register
• Book your hotel room (before they run out!): Use the SND discount link
• Check out the lineup of speakers we’ve announced for the workshop. What a team!
• Don’t miss the Think Before You Make pre-conference day at the U.S. National Whitewater Center