Grab a cup of chicory coffee and a beignet. APA's Board of Directors unanimously voted in November to keep the 2006 Annual Convention in New Orleans, Aug. 10-13.
"All indications are that New Orleans is on a strong trajectory of recovery and will be well prepared to host our meeting next summer," says APA CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD. "Based on health reports and our own site visit, we look forward to a very successful meeting in New Orleans."
While other areas of the city were severely battered by Hurricane Katrina, the sections most critical to the convention, including the French Quarter and convention center area, sustained much less damage. Numerous tests by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local agencies show that the air in New Orleans is safe and that the water is clean in the convention center, downtown and French Quarter areas. Many restaurants and other businesses in these neighborhoods have already reopened, with more likely to follow soon. Furthermore, none of the APA convention hotels sustained any flooding damage.
And this February, the city's most famous ritual-Mardi Gras-will take place as usual, filling the city with thousands of visitors. The stream of returning business will continue with several large conventions and society meetings in the spring and summer, bringing a much-needed revenue boost to the city, according to New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau staff.
Keeping the convention in New Orleans is an opportunity for APA and its membership to contribute to the rebuilding and revitalization of the city, says Anderson. Plans are currently under way to organize volunteer opportunities for those who would like to participate in hands-on community service during the convention. Look for details in upcoming Monitor issues.
The 2006 convention will feature both divisional and plenary sessions, an exhibit hall featuring the latest psychological products and services, and opportunities for psychologists to obtain continuing-education credits. Sessions will take place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.