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Statement on Georgia House Bill 757
As the elected leaders of an international board of trade that’s dedicated to making complex information clear, our hearts go out to the people of Georgia.
It is not clear as of this writing whether Georgia House Bill 757 will become law. What’s even less clear: how different are the ways that people may interact and relate with one another should the law be passed? Does this proposed legislation protect free expression of religion, or does it protect or even enhance selective discrimination against people groups who’re not acceptable to a given religion?
After seeking the counsel of IAI members and UX practitioners in Georgia who’re knowledgeable about and most likely to be immediately affected by HB757, the conclusion we are compelled to make is that adoption of this legislation will appreciably and negatively impact the safety of LGBTQ people. We believe it will harm other people groups, too.
Customarily, the Institute co-locates its Annual General Meeting with the IA Summit, which convenes in Atlanta, Georgia on May 4. However, due to the very real possibility of HB757 becoming law on or before May 3, the Institute has decided that it must break this custom. Business as usual is not acceptable in the face of what may be threats to the wellbeing of our members. We can not have our annual meeting in Georgia under these conditions. Nor will we choose to do business there.
To foster better understanding of the potential impacts to human rights and equality for all people in Georgia, the IAI is rescheduling its annual meeting, cancelling its fundraiser workshop and instead will use our presence at the Summit to facilitate a working session focused on these issues.
We plan to host and facilitate a working session that will be free to all conference attendees who wish to take part. IAI members and other community members who wish to participate but who’re not registered for the conference may still do so, provided they first become a free member of the IAI.
The purpose of the workshop is to use the tools of information architecture, and info-architectural ways of seeing to better understand the meaning of the proposed legislation, the structures inherent in the language used by various actors contending both in favor and against the legislation, and the dynamics of the issues around free expression and human rights.
Details of and registration for an online substitute for the IAI Annual General Meeting will be announced on April 1, 2016. We regret losing this once-a-year opportunity to meet face to face with our members in Atlanta to do Institute business. And we look forward to "demonstrating the damn thing" in a working session toward making the complexities around HB757 clear.
Anyone with interest in helping with this workshop should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abby Covert, President
Dan Klyn, President Elect
At the request of ASIS&T and the Summit committee, we’ve removed the following statement from the text above:
“In coordination with our colleagues at ASIS&T and the IA Summit”
Additionally, we are now actively seeking a venue for hosting the working session on Sunday afternoon, as our request to use the space that had been set aside for our Annual General Meeting was respectfully denied.
Sent via email to all active members (and those 30 days past due).
As promised, we are writing today to announce our decision about the future of the IA Institute.
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