Not exactly a legal term today…

Today, The Legal Genealogist continues full steam ahead at the 2017 conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies in Pittsburgh.

This morning, it’s Courting Pennsylvania: the Courts of the Keystone State, and this afternoon, it’s “Deemed A Runaway”: The Black Laws of the North. Both challenging, but a lot of fun to presentation.

The conference schedule doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging, but I absolutely don’t want to miss the chance to invite everyone at the FGS conference to join me tomorrow morning for something a little different.

Today, this blog’s foray into alphabet soup isn’t going to focus on a legal term but rather a term that’s very important to me — and to the entire genealogical community — and that’s very much part of tomorrow’s conference doings here in Pittsburgh.

This time, I is for INCLUSION.

Tomorrow morning, in the opening session of the last day of this FGS conference, I am privileged to present the second half of this year’s Helen F. M. Leary Distinguished Lecture Series, sponsored by the Education Fund of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

The Helen F.M. Leary Distinguished Lecture Series, initiated in 2007, honors Helen F.M. Leary of North Carolina, Certified Genealogist Emeritus and a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, known for her richly informative and entertaining lectures on methodology, law, writing, and the art of lecturing. As someone with deep North Carolina roots, I have long been in awe of Helen Leary, whose work on research in the Tarheel State is simply amazing and whose lectures have been a model for us all to follow.

The focus of this year’s Leary lectures is inclusion as a genealogical standard. At the 2017 NGS conference in Raleigh in May, I was proud to present Rainbows and Kaleidoscopes: Inclusion as a Personal and Professional Genealogical Standard. The thrust of that lecture was that we as individual genealogists — whether hobbyists or professionals, can greatly enrich our family histories, expand our client bases, and benefit from collaborations with fellow researchers when we adopt inclusion as a professional and personal genealogical standard.

Tomorrow, at 8 a.m. in session S-406 in room 305 of the Convention Center, I’ll be presenting the second half: Rainbows and Kaleidoscopes: Inclusion as a Society and Corporate Genealogical Standard. The thrust is that changing demographics in the population underscore the importance of broadening the reach of both genealogical societies and companies that serve the community. Societies and companies can better grow their memberships, serve their constituencies, and increase their revenues by adopting inclusion as a genealogical standard.

Rather than looking at the genealogical table and trying to figure out who to invite to sit at the table, our task is to build a table big enough to include everyone. Everyone. Race, religion, creed, national origin, age, sexual orientation, ability or disability notwithstanding. It’s a discussion our community needs to have, and I am so proud to be helping move the discussion along.

If you’re here in Pittsburgh, I hope you’ll join me tomorrow morning for Rainbows and Kaleidoscopes: Inclusion as a Society and Corporate Genealogical Standard. If you’re not here, the lecture is being recorded and should be available afterwards from the recording vendor, Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recording.

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