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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. 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.