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How One Association Handled a Difficult Conference-location Decision

Candid statements and on-the-ground action help

In June, when the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued a ruling invalidating Roe v. Wade, the National Organization of Minority Architects faced a challenge. NOMA was going ahead with its annual meeting in Nashville in October, but the high-court ruling—which triggered a Tennessee law banning abortion in the state—was a direct challenge to NOMA’s organizational values. 

"The Dobbs ruling was a unique concern for our organization because our members could be penalized for taking on projects that include women's health clinics where these reproductive healthcare needs take place," said NOMA National Executive Director Tiffany Brown. "Architects are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of the public; those spaces include these healthcare facilities."

NOMA had already faced some criticism among members for holding its conference in a conservative state, Brown said; some chapters had declined to fund travel there. But the Dobbs ruling demonstrated a need for further action.

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