By Brett A. Sokolow, J.D., ATIXA Chair and Co-Founder
Conference season is upon us again. ATIXA is excited to host hundreds of our members and future members at our 12th Annual Conference. Should you come? Yes! Am I biased, of course, but otherwise, I am a completely neutral and impartial adjudicator. Let me give you ten reasons why you should join us for what I affectionately call “ATIXACon 2023” in October:
1. We’re back in Philly, friends. We’re back in our home city—a great place for a conference. With its history, award-winning food, and attractions, Philadelphia is a special gem. The city of brotherly (and sisterly and non-binary) love is ready and waiting for us.
2. ATIXACon is a reunion, even for first-timers and non-members. That’s just the kind of coming-together it is. Whether it is your twelfth conference or your first, you’ll find a professional home and family with ATIXA. We can’t wait to see friends, new and old. This year’s conference will feature the roll-out of ATIXA’s Affinity and Community Connection Groups intended to help attendees and members network at the conference and find allyship amongst those who are like-minded, similarly situated, and who share identities.
3. You will again witness the annual coincidence that ATIXA president Daniel Swinton and I wear the exact same outfit on the same day. It’s never planned, but it happens every year #unintentionaltwinning. Call us the Brooks Brothers.
4. Speaking of annual traditions, TNG Consulting, LLC, will again offer our perennial plenary partner panel (say that three times fast in a row!) to share all the latest Title IX developments in our field. It’s always a rousing discussion. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll comply. Unfortunately, the laughter will be provoked mainly by Daniel’s cringe dad jokes. ATIXA’s president has two doctorates, but neither one of them is in humorology, alas. I still laugh, even though I know I shouldn’t.
5. Get yourself certified or update your certification. The most respected Title IX certification is an ATIXA Certification (66,000 professionals certified and counting). Our conference is always wrapped by pre-con and post-con certification opportunities, and 2023 is no exception. Ten certification courses will be offered for your credentialing pleasure.
6. If the pre-cons and post-cons are the buns, then the substance in the middle is the conference itself. Meaty (vegan options available), chewy, and thought-provoking. The conference days offer several highlights on top of networking, socializing, and enjoying Philly. Each year, the conference is the venue where we all learn from each other. Practitioners present their innovative programs to our attendees in 16 concurrent sessions and share their lessons learned, shortcuts, and clever solutions to myriad Title IX challenges.
7. In all, we have 50 speakers lined up for you this year. If you’d like a peek at the featured speaker sessions, click here. We’ll hear from Know Your IX, Laura McGuire, Jen Fry, Keith Edwards, the Zero Abuse Project, and more! In line with our practice of bringing diverse voices together to inform our field, we will offer a closing keynote panel of various athletes,
former athletes, and experts to discuss 360° perspectives on inclusion/exclusion for intersex, non-binary, trans, and transitioning athletes.
8. We love a good roundtable and know you do, too. Roundtables have been a popular fixture of ATIXACon. These lightly facilitated (but well-seasoned) discussion sessions are divided into twelve topics interspersed between conference sessions. They offer the opportunity to digest what is being presented, kick it around, learn how colleagues perceive the content, and allow space to process all the information the sessions have provided. Processing takes time, and we internalize the content much more effectively with the benefit of roundtable discussions.
9. Grab an expert (but only with consent!). That’s right, the country’s leading Title IX experts wander around the lobby, on the loose and in the wild (ok, the Loews Hotel is pretty civilized, but you get the idea). You can walk right up to one of us and ask any Title IX-related questions. Come and wrangle an answer out of us – we’d love to meet you.
10. Wrap your brain around where the Title IX field is headed. For twelve years, ATIXA has offered crucial guidance on Title IX’s evolution and future direction. We’ve been rather uncanny (if we do say so ourselves) at gazing into the Title IX crystal ball, and more of that good stuff will be on offer in Philly.