Photo by Shawna Simmons.

11 Things to Know about World Vitiligo Day 2019

The U.S. celebration of World Vitiligo Day will take place June 21-23, 2019 in Houston, Texas – and you don’t want to miss it. Here’s what you need to know.

#1 Registration is available online – but closes soon

Let’s get to the important details first: Registration for the conference is available online, but officially closes April 30, 2019 – so don’t wait. The three-day event pass is $135 for adults, $100 for teens and $65 for children ages 12 and under. The registration fee includes access to events, materials and a gift bag in addition to meals throughout the weekend. Register today at www.houstonvitiligoawareness.com/registration.

#2 World Vitiligo Day is officially celebrated on June 25th

Although the conference will be celebrated June 21-23, World Vitiligo Day is officially recognized on June 25th each year. World Vitiligo Day was established by Ogo Maduewesi, founder of VITSAF in Nigeria, and Yan Valle, CEO of the Vitiligo Research Foundation. First celebrated in 2011, the day was created to generate awareness of vitiligo in the general public, to educate health care providers about care and treatment, and to raise funds for research. Since its founding, the day has become a global event, raising awareness and recognition of the bullying, social neglect, psychological trauma, and disability of the tens of millions of people worldwide who suffer from vitiligo.

#3 The 2019 conference is the fourth U.S. celebration of World Vitiligo Day

Despite World Vitiligo Day being founded in 2011, the United States only recently started holding a national event to mark the occasion. In fact, the 2019 conference will be the fourth U.S. celebration, with the first three events happening in Washington, D.C. in 2016, Detroit, Michigan in 2017, and Worcester, Massachusetts in 2018.

#4 You’ll be among patients, advocates and leading medical experts

The 2019 celebration is expected to attract hundreds of vitiligo patients, advocates and dermatologists with expertise in vitiligo research and clinic care. This means you’ll have the chance to not only connect with other patients and hear their stories, but meet leading vitiligo dermatologists and scientists and learn about existing and future treatments.

#5 The theme of the 2019 event is the mental and medical aspects of vitiligo

Focusing on the mental and medical journey of vitiligo, the 2019 event will include medical research and treatment updates, mental and emotional health sessions, and a panel discussion promoting open dialogue about the social impact of vitiligo. The decision to include mental health as part of the event’s theme reflects growing conversation about the role of mental health in vitiligo treatment.

#6 The three-day event is packed full of speakers, entertainment and socialization

Kicking off Friday night, the conference starts with an evening of speakers, music and a fashion show. Saturday will feature a full day of presentations on the medical and emotional aspects of life with vitiligo and close with a community forum followed by dinner and dancing. The conference will close on Sunday, June 23 with an optional worship service followed by a guest speaker and announcement of the 2020 World Vitiligo Day conference location. View the tentative agenda at https://www.houstonvitiligoawareness.com/wvd-2019-agenda.

#7 You’ll hear from top vitiligo experts throughout the weekend

If you’re new to the vitiligo community, there is one thing you will learn very quickly: we have high profile dermatologists who are highly dedicated to their patients. In fact, they come to World Vitiligo Day every year to hear from patients and share updates on the latest research and developments. This year, they will be joined by mental health experts who will share important information about the emotional, mental and social impacts of living with vitiligo. The 2019 speakers will include Dr. Amit Pandya from UT Southwestern Medical Center; Dr. Alanna Bree from A Children’s House for the Soul; Dr. Pearl Grimes from The Vitiligo & Pigmentation Institute of Southern California; Dr. Lisa Schuster, who focuses on Children’s Health; and Dr. John Harris, director of The Vitiligo Clinic & Research Center at UMMS.

#8 The conference is kid-friendly

Wondering whether or not to bring your child with vitiligo? The 2019 event includes sessions designed specifically for kids and teens. Eric Cork from Cork’s Coast-to-Coast Classroom and Dr. Chad Brandt, a behavior therapist, will provide kids with personal tool kits and coping skills for school. Kids will also enjoy activities like movies and pajama jams where they will have the opportunity to intermingle with other children who understand what it feels like to live with vitiligo.

#9 The conference location and lodging are all in one venue

The conference will take place at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square, located approximately 40 miles from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and 23 miles from the William P. Hobby Airport. The conference room rate is $125 and you can book your room by website or by calling 1-800-228-9290 and using the following rate codes: WVDWVDA (Standard King) or WVDWVDB (Double/Double). Transportation information is available here.

#10 Bring your cowboy boots – because it’s a celebration

We’ll be in Texas, ya’ll! And our Houston hosts are ready to give a lone star state welcome. Cowboy boots and hats are welcome at the kickoff event on Friday, June 21 and the celebration Saturday, June 22 that will include a DJ and band.

#11 You can follow the Houston Vitiligo Awareness Movement for updates

Looking for more news? Follow the Houston Vitiligo Awareness Movement on Facebook as we count down to June.

If you have additional questions, email wvd2019houston@gmail.com.

Photo by Shawna Simmons.

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Erika Page

Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. Her first spots appeared on her spine when she was seven years old and today vitiligo covers her entire body. Based just south of Washington, D.C., Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.

1 Comment

  1. Vita Morales

    I wrote a play about an African-American woman’s journey with Vitiligo. Just by coincidence, it will have its first staged reading at the Washington, D.C. Black Theater Festival on June 23 at THEARC II. I would love to have anyone there who would like to contribute to the discussion about the play and the subject of Vitiligo.

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