Planet Forward postpones annual summit until October

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

Frank Sesno, the outgoing director of the School of Media and Public Affairs, said the conference is tentatively rescheduled for Oct. 8 to 10.

School of Media and Public Affairs officials have postponed the annual Planet Forward Summit, the organization tweeted Tuesday.

The summit, hosted by an environmental publication run by outgoing SMPA Director Frank Sesno, was slated to take place on April 2 and 3 at the University and has been tentatively rescheduled for Oct. 8 to 10, according to an email obtained by The Hatchet. SMPA Director Frank Sesno said the decision was made after consulting with administrators and with officials at Planet Forward consortium schools like Columbia University, about the threat posed by COVID-19 to attendees.

“We have consulted with senior leaders and health officials here at GW, as well as with faculty and administrators from our consortium schools across the country as we made this decision,” Sesno wrote in the email. “While we are saddened to move the event, we are committed to proactively safeguarding our attendees by discouraging unnecessary health risks associated with travel.”

Fresno added that the conference’s tentative new date is “subject to change given this ongoing public health crisis.” The winners of Planet Forward’s Storyfest contest will still be announced online as planned on April 3, according to the email.

Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the District, a reverend at Christ Church Georgetown, in a press conference Saturday. Administrators have suspended all non-essential GW-affiliated international travel in response to the virus, which has spread to dozens of countries and infected thousands.

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