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.