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New Jersey Association of School Psychologists

Please see the NASP update on the Hyatt incident and the letter sent by NJASP acknowledging the incident and calling for meaningful action.

NASP recent update on the Hyatt incident

Update on the Hyatt incident: Your voices, in concert with NASP’s extensive direct advocacy, have resulted in progress! NASP President Celeste Malone and ED Kathleen Minke had a lengthy conversation with the GM of Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center and the SVP for Global EDI for Hyatt corporate yesterday afternoon. We discussed in detail the harm caused by the racist treatment of Celeste Malone and her friends and colleagues and broader Black community. We also detailed the harm caused by the lengthy delay in providing an appropriate response based on our outlined actions.

We are pleased to announce that our discussion has resulted in this formal public apology by Hyatt, which also outlines restorative steps the Hyatt will take: compensating the individuals most directly affected and donating to the NASP Minority Scholarship Program, Howard University School of Education, and the Black School Psychology Network as first steps.

Equally important, Hyatt has offered to work with NASP going forward to help inform Hyatt’s EDI efforts, ensure the safety and well-being of all of our attendees at properties hosting future NASP events, and support BIPOC school psychology graduate students in a variety of ongoing ways.

This has been a painful and difficult situation. NASP’s goals have been to help secure reparative action, to support the Black school psychology community, and to highlight the work that still needs to be done. NASP is committed to this work. Our Board of Directors met last night to discuss our next steps as an association. More on this to come.

We look forward to the potential of a partnership with Hyatt to help diversify the profession and expand the opportunity for more BIPOC individuals to become leaders in the field. These actions will directly support advancing both our social justice and shortage goals. https://www.nasponline.org/social-justice


Hyatt response

Hyatt Regency Denver sincerely apologizes to National Association of School Psychologists’ President Dr. Celeste Malone and her guests at an event in our hotel during NASP’s 2023 Convention for not providing them with an experience that is consistent with Hyatt’s strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

We want to begin by thanking Dr. Malone, NASP members and convention attendees, and the broader Black school psychology community who have reached out to us to share their concerns over what has transpired this past week.

Our goal is to treat every person who walks into our hotel with empathy and dignity, and we believe that we did not deliver on that experience for Dr. Malone and her guests on the evening of February 8. Hyatt is conducting a thorough investigation of the colleagues involved, and the entire hotel staff will be re-trained in diversity, equity and inclusion.

We are working with Dr. Malone and NASP leadership to determine a path forward. In addition to re-training the team, we are planning to compensate and apologize to the individuals involved and make substantive donations to organizations important to NASP. We have discussed a focus on supporting graduate education of Black and other minoritized school psychologists. We have also invited Dr. Malone and NASP to work with us to ensure that all NASP attendees feel genuinely safe and welcome at future events hosted at Hyatt properties.

We trust we can continue a productive dialogue with Dr. Malone and NASP.


Greg Leonard

General Manager, Hyatt Regency Denver

NJASP Letter to Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Dear Hyatt Hotels Corporation:

As previously acknowledged by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists (NJASP) acknowledges that a totally unacceptable and harmful incident occurred Wednesday, February 8th,2023, in the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center that directly affected NASP President Dr. Celeste Malone, her friends, colleagues, and family, and by extension the Black community. The actions of hotel security are antithetical to NASP’s values, commitment to working to end racism and discrimination, and being a welcoming, safe space for all marginalized people. The actions on February 8th, 2023, also contradict Hyatt’s commitment to a “World of Care” and vision to advance initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As indicated on your website, “We are committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and, when we have not lived up to our own expectations, we hold ourselves urgently accountable to do better”.

We are outraged that this happened in our convention space which is supposed to be a place of safety, celebration, and joy. Dr. Malone, along with other Black leaders in school psychology, are doing amazing work, as evidenced by so much of what made this convention exciting and meaningful. Over 5600 school psychologists were meeting together to celebrate Dr Celeste Malone’s Presidential theme, “Radical Hope, Authentic Healing.” Clearly, there is much work to be done to promote Dr. Malone’s vision. However, despite the harm inflicted, her purpose, activism, intentionality, and joy continue to be inspirational. NJASP stands in solidarity with our NASP President Celeste Malone and the entire Black and Brown community in calling out the inexcusable and unacceptable behavior that occurred in the Hyatt Hotel.

We strongly encourage you to follow through with the actions you described in your formal apology. It is critical that, in good faith, you engage in the restorative steps as discussed with NASP leadership. These are important first steps in moving forward to advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts that clearly need to be addressed in the Hyatt organization as evidenced by the recent egregious behavior experienced by Dr. Malone, her colleagues, and students. We are pleased that you will be working with NASP leadership in moving forward and sincerely hope that these efforts result in meaningful and lasting change. Further, we expect that our BIPOC school psychologists and the broader community will feel safe and welcomed in all Hyatt hotels in our home state of New Jersey.

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