Covid Protocols

As we prepare to convene in Detroit, Michigan for our annual conference, NWSA leadership affirms our organizational commitment to the feminist position that those most impacted by any particular system of oppression are best situated and equipped to guide us in our efforts to transform and survive it. Although the federal government officially ended the covid-19 public health emergency on May 11th of 2023, we recognize that “the end” of the pandemic merely signaled a new level of state abandonment.

Covid Protocols

As Mia Mingus writes in “You Are Not Entitled To Our Deaths: Covid-19, Abled Supremacy & Interdependence,” 
“We will not allow disabled people to be disposable or the necessary collateral damage for the status quo. We will not look away from the mass illness and death that surrounds us or from a state machine that is more committed to churning out profit and privileged comfort with eugenic abandonment” (2022).
Feminist disability advocates and scholars have identified the Covid-19 pandemic as a “mass disabling event” largely due to how those in positions of power value money over people. Navigating covid-19 is now presented as an individual problem, but as critical feminist scholars we know that individual “solutions” to systemic issues simply enables more harm. And while we can not control every aspect of our environment at our conference sites, we can enact (and support one another in enacting) care practices modeled by our feminist comrades in the disability justice movement.
As Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha reminds, in their 2022 essay “Abled-Bodied Leftists Cannot Abandon Disabled Solidarity to “Move On” From COVID,”
I call on the abled left to not abandon us. We need each other to stay alive. [...We] have the power to insist on masking, community safety strategies for COVID and virtually accessible events, and to invest in community care. 
Keeping a distance between yourself and others when manageable, getting vaccinated and boosted if able, and staying masked as much as possible are small but important expressions of a feminist care ethic, a politics of solidarity and interdependence, and a commitment to dismantling the able bodied supremacist rhetoric claiming it is time to “move on.” We are not here to reproduce supremacies, but instead to dismantle them.
The following protocols are offered in the spirit of solidarity and care—especially as we witness another Covid-19 variant (BA.2.86) take hold. To struggle together, we need each other to stay alive. We offer these protocols as an invitation for all of our conference attendees to join this struggle with us.


All conference attendees must be fully vaccinated (with the exception of those with medical conditions precluding vaccination) and we strongly encourage you to get the booster shot at least two weeks before the conference. Rollout of the updated booster shots is expected in mid-September. 
We also suggest, depending upon your personal situation, that you receive your flu vaccination, as well. Although we are not requiring you to show your Vaccination Card, we are taking your conference attendance as a sign that you are fully aware of our expectations and that you are following them. 
If you are not vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to mask up and do what you need to do to remain healthy.


While in the conference session rooms and common areas, masks are required unless you are eating, drinking, or presenting. Consider eating and drinking outdoors whenever possible.
Encouraging mask wearing in all spaces and sessions at the conference means that we have to be willing to have a conversation with friends, colleagues, and strangers. We hope the premise that we have the power to keep each other safe will guide these interactions.
A limited number of masks will be available at registration, along with ribbons denoting individual safety requests. Given that we will only have a limited supply of masks at the Registration Desk, we encourage you to bring your own high quality and well fitting masks.
The National Office is grateful to the 2023 Governing Council, with special hats off to Member-at-Large Jessica C. Pabón-Colón, who provided leadership and insight into the development of a thoughtful and feminist approach to naming the logistics our safety protocol amidst the ongoing COVID-19 global health crisis.

Accessibility Requests

Conference registrants may request accessibility services (sign language interpretation, sighted guides, etc.) to facilitate their full participation in the annual meeting. NWSA is committed to making the Annual Conference accessible to all. We must receive requests for accommodations by September 1st, 2024 in order to best work with our site coordinators, vendors, and partners in the planning process.

Request Here

Are you willing to not only do the work but be transformed by it? Are you willing to read not only for historical information and social theory but for strategies and methods that you can take into your own work as a scholar, an activist, an artist, a person living in a world that desperately needs transformation?

~ Sami Schalk

Join A Constituency Group 

Current Members of NWSA can join and participate in Constituency Groups, which are member-driven spaces focused on facilitating networks of support, exploring scholarly and activist topics, professional standards within subsets of the discipline, and fostering community connections based upon shared socio-political locations.

Constituency Groups also invite leadership development for members and support the NWSA vision in strengthening the reach of a WGSS-grounded education. NWSA offers four different avenues of connecting with peers: Caucuses, NWSA Core Committees, Interest Groups, and Task Forces.

Explore our resources to learn more about each of these community spaces! You can also review Article VII of our Bylaws, which names the importance of our Constituency Groups.

Explore More

Questions about our Annual Conference?

Frequently Asked Questions