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Posted on September 2nd, 2020 in Community & Organizational Planning

This year has given all community development educators a reason to tune into the expertise of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). Registration is now open for EDEN’s virtual Annual Meeting scheduled for Sept. 22-25, 2020. And, according to its organizers Abby Lillpop and Cheyanne Geideman, you’re not going to want to miss what Extension professionals across specialties, geographies and systems (and others) have to say about disaster education—especially in the year 2020.”

“Going virtual has allowed us to free ourselves of being tied to a geographical location,” says Geideman, “So, we were really able to highlight issues important to educators – shifts in Extension to digital strategies, diversity in disasters, and our mental health.”

The annual meeting’s sessions on the mental health of educators were included by popular demand. “We’re not focusing on the mental health of others; we’re focusing on our own mental health as educators who have been affected in our own homes but still have to do our jobs,” says Lillpop. “This will be highlighted throughout concurrent sessions as well as in a post-conference series being hosted by the University of Florida.”

One of the things that the EDEN Annual Meeting has always been known for is the networking—and it’s a great reason, in and of itself, to attend, says Geideman. “So, when a disaster hits your area, you will know who to call for help in educating your local community.”

“We were intentional about offering both formal and informal networking during this virtual meeting by creatively using breakout rooms and response opportunities to enhance the experience,” adds Lillpop. “What sets EDEN apart is the information you’re getting is from people who have lived these experiences—learned from doing things right or (sometimes) wrong.”

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