Thank you to each and every one of you who supported, attended, and presented at our HERD Virtual Summit this past weekend. Despite the technical glitches (of which there were many), the feedback we have received has focused on the high caliber presentations, breadth of topics offered, and discussions that came out of the live sessions. Witnessing in real time new connections being made during the live sessions in the chat boxes and, despite this being a virtual platform, feeling an embodied sense of community throughout the day moved me to tears. I truly hope that the technical difficulties you experienced didn’t distract from the learning that you took from the event.

One of the highlights on the day was our HERD Geek Together. Our speaker panel consisted of many of the leading names in our industry including Leif Hallberg, Shannon Knapp, Patricia Kelly, and Nina Ekholm Fry, as well as a number of HERD graduates and faculty members. Shout out to Jude Jennison, Dr. Terry Chase, Deb Schneider-Murphy, and Catherine Frend Gillihan who all contributed presentations and attended the Geek Together. Looking at my screen during that session filled me with a deep sense of gratitude to be in the presence of so many like-minded folks who, despite differences in modalities, shared the same wholeheartedness towards an openness to dialogue on shaping the future of this industry.

In the midst of the global pandemic and calls for racial justice, I am proud of our collective efforts right now in moving forward in small steps towards a more compassionate, understanding, and inclusive world. My closing remarks for the day in the video above captured my sense of hope for our future. I hope you’ll join me in continuing the conversations sparked by the summit so that we can keep building our resilience and move towards recovery and reconnection.

Warm wishes,

Dr. Veronica Lac
Executive Director