Open Letter

 

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE INTERNATIONAL BRAIN INJURY COMMUNITY FROM THE LEADERSHIP TEAM OF THE INTERNATIONAL BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION’S 12TH WORLD CONGRESS ON BRAIN INJURY

We respect and sympathize with international concerns about the recent executive order issued by the President of the United States barring travelers and refugees from seven countries in the Middle East from entering the United States. We are writing this open letter to ensure that everyone in the international brain injury community, in all countries across the globe, knows that the Leadership Team of IBIA’s 12th World Congress on Brain Injury remains steadfast in our commitment to inclusivity, mutual respect, and humanitarianism. We believe that IBIA, its members, and delegates traveling from around the globe to attend our association’s 12th World Congress on Brain Injury next month will be best served now and in the future by maintaining collaborative relationships, productive engagement, and thoughtful exchange wherever and whenever possible. 

Protesting the recent actions of the United States’ new administration contributes importantly to the preservation of democracy in the US and abroad; such expressions of protest are essential to the explication and protection of the values for which we stand and that guide our work with persons with brain injuries and their families. Giving consideration to withdrawing from participation in our upcoming Congress for the purpose of political protest therefore is both understandable and respectable.

At the same time, this form of protest is likely – especially if undertaken widely – to compromise the success of our World Congress and do harm to our Association. Whether or not this form of protest can achieve the aims of those undertaking it (i.e., expressing concern over recent events to those in power to hear and to respond to such expressions), this course of action places at immediate risk IBIA’s financial and organizational health and threatens our ability to continue serving the international brain injury community inclusively and successfully.

In order to sustain IBIA as an international forum for professional networking and scientific advancement for brain injury scientists, clinicians, educators, and advocates in every country, IBIA needs your support now. We invite and encourage all currently registered delegates to join us in New Orleans for our 12th World Congress on Brain Injury next month and to encourage your colleagues across the world to do so as well. There, we will come together as an international community of brain injury professionals to exchange ideas and share recent scientific findings, to strengthen current collaborations and seek opportunities for new ones, and to reunite with old friends and enjoy fellowship with new colleagues.

For those delegates traveling from, or holding a passport from, one of the seven countries affected by the executive order, the IBIA administrative staff stands ready to assist during this fluid situation. The IBIA Officers and Board of Governors will also meet in New Orleans to lay plans for our next several World Congresses and their siting outside the United States.

We are united in our concerns about the current state of affairs and resolute in our support of IBIA’s mission and vision. Together, we will bridge the chasm that others, by design or otherwise, might place between us. We therefore look forward to coming together in New Orleans as a united group unfettered by the vagaries of politics and spurred on by the promise of science and the power of community.

Yours Sincerely,

David B. Arciniegas, MD                                             
Chairman and CEO, International Brain Injury Association

Nathan D. Zasler, MD
Vice Chairman, International Brain Injury Association

Lisa A. Brenner, PhD
President, 12th World Congress on Brain Injury                                              

Angelle M. Sander, PhD
Co-President, 12th World Congress on Brain Injury              

Risa Nakase-Richardson, PhD
Co-President, 12th World Congress on Brain Injury

Charles Haynes, JD
IBIA Secretariat

Margaret Roberts
IBIA Secretariat

ISSUED: February 9, 2017 

Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
Google+
http://ibia2017.org/open-letter-to-the-international-brain-injury-community/
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
Google+
http://ibia2017.org/open-letter-to-the-international-brain-injury-community/