On June 6, 2023, we released a press release around ICF Converge 2023 and received many supportive comments from our members. Thank you to all those who wrote to us with words of support and encouragement. Your responses are a gift and makes us rejoice in our service to our members. Some of you offered to help us. Thank you! If we are delayed in reaching out to you, please do not hesitate to reach out again.
Converge is fast approaching and ICF Global is also taking steps to respond to feedback. We will continue to engage with ICF Global and our members and community. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with your thoughts and questions.
Please note that the statement below does not reflect additional changes ICF Global has made since June 6th, nor the increasingly restrictive laws against non-US citizens and other acts of oppression against marginalized populations.
(See below for text. Clickable links can be found in the actual document found here.)
Dear Chapter Members, Affiliates, and Community,
ICF Washington State Charter Chapter (ICFWA) is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, and
belonging. We believe that for coaching to be integral to transforming societies, it is our
responsibility to enable equitable, safe access and participation in our profession. As your local
chapter, one of our roles is to be the conduit between ICF Global and our members. Therefore,
when our parent organization, ICF Global, holds its Converge 2023 conference in Florida, a state that
has been declared by the NAACP as unsafe to travel for Black, Indigenous and LGBTQIA+ people, we
find it important to transparently share with you what has transpired and our engagement and
ICF’s global conference, Converge 2023, is scheduled to take place in Orlando, Florida in August, in a
state where Governor DeSantis has led numerous racist, anti-LGBTQ+, and other measures that
jeopardize the lives of Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ (especially trans) folks. Over the course of several
months, both privately and publicly, various coaches emailed ICF asking its leaders to reconsider the
conference location in terms of access, safety, and moral standing.
From our ICFWA community, Molly Gordon, MCC, (who led our chapter into its charter status in
2001), pioneered a wave of public voices on social media after earlier concerns were not addressed.
ICFWA chapter leaders also emailed our regional ICF representative and ICF’s DEI director, seeking to
understand ICF's decisions and emphasize the need for equitable access through a live-virtual
participation option. On May 30th, in response to the many requests, ICF communicated a few
adjustments to the plan by adding a live streaming option to 12 curated sessions and extended
Although this is closer to the minimum expectations towards equitable accessibility for BIPOC,
LGBTQIA+, immunocompromised people, or those with travel limitations, it does not change the fact
that those participating virtually will not be able to access the full conference, and the conference
will still be held in Florida. We absolutely understand the need for early advanced planning for an
event of such magnitude and recognize that ICF global is listening and taking steps towards change.
We know that this journey towards equity can be filled with bumpy learning moments, and that it is
important to acknowledge when we fall short, or cause unintentional harm, while taking steps to
repair relationships and correct systemic inequities. As a local chapter, we believe that we all can do
more to enable alignment of actions with espoused commitments to champion coaching inclusivity
and equity. ICFWA chapter leaders will continue to communicate with ICF global on ways to
intentionally support the needs of the most marginalized populations, so that everyone can
participate equitably and safely, and the coaching community can be truly inclusive.
We appreciate the courageous engagement of our local and global coach community and their
candid exchange with those in decision-making authority within ICF to support equity and inclusion.
We deeply value your participation and support for our chapter and encourage you to share your
ideas and voice with us on social media or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we can continue promoting a more equitable and inclusive coaching community.
ICFWA Board of Directors