49th Annual Convention
Denver Hyatt Regency Hotel
Updated May 4
ABAI is aware of the incident that occurred at the Hyatt Regency Denver hotel property in February, which we have booked for our Annual Convention this May. We contacted Hyatt representatives immediately upon learning of the incident in February, and have had several correspondences since then. In March and April, ABAI had two formal meetings with several members of the Hyatt Regency Denver hotel leadership to discuss the incident, review their procedures, and ensure that our event remains a safe place for our members. ABAI administration, Council leadership, and representatives from the DEI Board have been involved in reviewing the incident and planning for our event. We remain in close and frequent communication as the convention nears. The information below summarizes these items and provides information about our event to ensure a continued commitment to our core values of respect, inclusivity, and diversity, with careful attention to your safety and dignity.
In February the Hyatt issued a public apology to the National Association for School Psychologists (NASP), Dr. Celeste Malone (NASP President), and her guests. In their apology, they indicated they are engaging in restorative actions, including meaningful support to three organizations that help advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and extensive staff training in cultural competency and DEI. NASP has also shared public messages on their website, indicating they have finalized details with the Hyatt.
In the recent meetings with leadership from ABAI and the Hyatt Regency Denver, we learned more details about the incident. Hyatt leadership stated that they take ownership and responsibility for the incident. We discussed their actions and how it caused harm to Dr. Malone, her guests, and the NASP community. We reviewed their policies and requested adherence and commitment to ensure our members will not face similar interactions, to which they agreed. We also learned about the steps they have taken to advance their culture of care, advance and improve their DEI initiatives, and engage in broadly based training to ensure all Hyatt staff treat guests with respect and dignity, and provide a safe hospitality environment. Additional information about the Hyatt’s DEI initiatives is available on their World of Care site: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Hyatt World of Care.
ABAI and the Hyatt Regency Denver have reviewed the safety protocols of the hotel. The Hyatt Regency Denver has a phone number, accessible for all guests, to report any incidents of concern. This phone number will be provided to guests upon check-in, is staffed 24 hours a day, and is accessible via text or phone call. There are two physical locations to receive help in the event a member feels unsafe: the ABAI registration desk in the Colorado Convention Center (ABAI staff – red shirts) and the lobby desk of the Hyatt Regency Denver hotel (hotel staff). ABAI staff have protocols in place to support members. Two years ago, ABAI implemented a policy on sexual and other harassment, a communications policy, and a form for constituents to report such incidents via the website; and we have now made the report form accessible from the ABAI events app. We also have a protocol to involve an Ombudsperson and legal guidance, should such an incident occur. Lastly, we want to draw attention to our other supports and resources for inclusivity and accessibility at our events. See this accessibility section of our website (and other resources via the left-hand navigation menu). >>
Original Statement (February 17): ABAI is aware of the recent incident that occurred at the Hyatt Regency Denver hotel property, which we have booked for our Annual Convention this May. We have reached the Hyatt to ensure our Black and other BIPOC membership will not experience similar events. The Hyatt has publicly committed to restorative actions in their notification to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), including additional staff trainings. Our own conference preparations and staff training will include focused attention to this issue, including a meeting with the General Manager and ABAI staff, ABAI Executive Council Members, and a representative of the ABAI DEI Board. We look forward to our event in Denver with a continued commitment to our core values of respect, inclusivity, and diversity, with careful attention to your safety and dignity.