Joining organizations that have canceled events in North Carolina after the legislature passed HB2, the controversial anti-LGBT bill, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is moving its Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Enterprise Summit, which was to be held in Asheville in August. The gathering now will be held in December; the location will be announced at a later date.
In a statement, La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the foundation, which supports the development of children in efforts to heal racial gaps and inequities in U.S. communities, said, "We are canceling this four-day conference, which would have brought over 500 people to North Carolina and generated millions of dollars in economic activity for the state's local economy. Furthermore, in accordance with our institutional policies and practices, future WKKF-hosted conferences will only be held in communities where policies and practices are inclusive, and protections against discrimination are upheld for all people. Policies that deny any member of a community equal rights under the law do not reflect the values of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. These actions are counter to our belief that all children deserve to live in families where they and their parents have equal rights and opportunities to thrive."
Other organizations that have pulled out of the state include the Association for Library Service to Children, which canceled its 2016 National Institute that was headed to Charlotte in September; B Corp, whose CEO event would have brought in hundreds of top executives from certified-ethical corporations in August; American College Personnel Association, which has canceled a June event in Charlotte; and the Southern Sociological Society, which is moving a 2019 event from Charlotte. Entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam and Blue Man Group also have cancelled shows scheduled for the state.