The 2012 International Black Genealogy Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, held October 1820, 2012, was a huge success. With over 250 participants and speakers, the atmosphere was buzzing with the energy from meeting old and new friends, researching at the Family History Library, having the opportunity to see the Tabernacle Choir, having 32 workshops to choose from (2 well received workshop tracks from FamilySearch), vendors and exhibits, a reception and a phenomenal Pulitzer prize winner as the keynote speaker. The opening session was riveting with Jim Ison, and the luncheon speaker, Robert Raymond (both from FamilySearch), left everyone gasping from what products are coming next from FamilySearch.
The role that FamilySearch played in the success of the conference can only be described as exceptional. FamilySearch’s dedicated support included providing a conference syllabus, conference bags, workshops, and special speakers. The speakers and FamilySearch were awarded an achievement award to show how much their participation meant to the committee and conference participants. As participants were exiting their workshops, the comments that echoed throughout the conference hall were how terrific the speakers were and how much the audience enjoyed the abundant amount of knowledge.
Many of the participants ventured over to the library and were not seen again until the library closed. From comments made by participants in the library orientations, it was evident that the library housed a lot of much needed information and different ways to knock down or remove obstacles for many of the participants. Seeing how excited they were to find their relatives, find information not previously found, and discover some new ideas for future research could only warm the heart of those who understood their passion.
The icing on the cake was the rare but wonderful opportunity that 2 conference participants were given to rehearse with the Tabernacle Choir. Many of the participants who were not tired from their long travels to the conference made their way to Temple Square and were recognized at the choir rehearsal. When they stood, their hearts were beaming with pride, because for many, this was their first trip to SLC and to a conference of this magnitude.