The 2011 LifeRing Annual Meeting

The 2011 LifeRing Annual Meeting (a.k.a. “Congress,” “Expo,”  “Sober Event of the Year”) is fast approaching. Set for June 3, 4, 5 in Oakland, CA, details have now been posted on the website.

There are always two events happening simultaneously at the Annual Meeting: there’s the array of speakers, panels and workshops aimed at increasing knowledge about the nature of addiction and how to treat it while sharpening the skills of convenors and members. And there’s the social aspect, with people gathering together to see one another and celebrate their personal and shared victories.

This year, we’re experimenting with adding a third day of events, with workshops scheduled all day on Friday at the LifeRing offices and a nearby conference room. Designed and led by Lynn C. from Sacramento, there will be sessions on Planning, Resources, Community Outreach and National Recovery Month. The Friday events are aimed at helping those with a real interest in strengthening the LifeRing Organization, including Board members and others wanting to know more about how LifeRing can grow and prosper in the future.

After the workshops conclude, there will be our traditional Friday evening reception at the LifeRing Service Center in Oakland, which will no doubt spill over into the marble halls of the office building at 1440 Broadway. This will be a purely social event, a chance to meet old friends, get a look at our headquarters and enjoy some light snacks.

On Saturday, at the Oakland Kaiser Hospital Tower, we’ll be presenting events geared to a wide range of interests, from a look at the latest research in how the brain works, to a session on mindfulness and its role in relapse prevention. There will also be panels aimed at convenors, potential convenors and those who want to move beyond the convenor role. That evening, a banquet will be held in a fine Oakland restaurant, Cocina Poblana, where we’ll also present awards to some of our volunteers for their efforts over the past year.

On Sunday, we’ll hold our annual LifeRing Congress, also at the Kaiser Hospital Tower. Delegates (each meeting is entitled to send a voting delegate) will briefly share their experiences over the past year and elections will be held for Bylaw changes and Board seats.

Different people attend the LifeRing Annual Meeting for different reasons – some to learn, some to become more involved, many to renew acquaintances – but all too have their own recovery strengthened by being around others so much like themselves. Even in early recovery, it can be a very affirming experience. If you’d like to be part of it, please visit the information and registration page.