To our attendees and community,
We announced this week that we are rescheduling Gen Con 2021 to September 16-19, which lands on Yom Kippur, the holiest holiday in the Jewish calendar. For many of our Jewish attendees, this makes attending the full convention difficult, if not impossible. We recognize the seriousness of this conflict and we apologize for not addressing it in our initial announcement.
When we were trying to figure out if Gen Con could still be held this year, we knew that our original August dates were too soon to make a safe attempt. We also knew that no attempt at all would leave us in a financial position where Gen Con’s future might not be clear. Convention centers are typically booked years in advance, and the only option we had for moving the show was to September 16-19, which conflicts with Yom Kippur.
Our announcement left a lot of you feeling upset, hurt, disappointed, and angry. You have every right to feel those things. These new dates impact folks in a way that isn’t fair to our Jewish community members. We’ve heard from many of you on social media and in personal emails, and we accept that we’ve made mistakes.
Here’s what we messed up on:
- We did not speak with enough folks about this prior to the announcement to understand the full breadth of who it would affect and how deeply.
- We didn’t talk about it in the announcement itself.
- We started creating plans on how we might be able to help make it more accessible, but the more folks we spoke with and the more we researched, the more we realized that we were creating accommodations that probably wouldn’t be helpful.
So, let’s talk about where we’re going from here.
Now that we’ve announced the dates, we have begun the planning phase for our convention. We won’t be able to fully resolve this conflict for our Jewish attendees, but our goal is to work with attendees, local organizations, and experts on implementing inclusivity for Jewish considerations in order to make the right decisions while we plan.
We’ve started contacting local Jewish organizations and synagogues to see what their organizations are offering for Yom Kippur and how we may be able to work with them to allow our attendees access to services, in addition to folks who have experience planning conventions that allow for more religious accessibility. We will provide updates on our plans as soon as we are able.
Finally, we would like to address some of the negativity and antisemitism we’ve seen as a result of this announcement. Gen Con commits to our anti-harassment policy and we will be following up on any racist, antisemitic, and misogynistic commentary on posts to ensure that those individuals will not be in our spaces. Becoming a safer and more inclusive space is a constant work in progress, and part of that means committing to ensuring our attendees do not have to tolerate this behavior in spaces we control.
We mean it when we say we are very open to feedback and suggestions on how we might better serve our Jewish attendees. We can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Adkison, David Hoppe, and the rest of the Gen Con team.