April 1, 2015
NEW YORK (April 1, 2015) — Eighty years ago this June, an alcoholic who couldn’t stop drinking was visited by an alcoholic who believed he’d found an answer. Since then, the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) – a loosely-knit society of alcoholics helping alcoholics – has grown to approximately 2 million members worldwide.
Practically every A.A. member has experienced firsthand a similar conversation in which a sober alcoholic offered his or her experience, strength and hope at no cost and with no obligation.
Every five years, thousands of A.A. members are joined by a variety of professionals, supportive community members and friends from around the globe to celebrate sobriety and fellowship, and to rededicate themselves to carrying the message of hope and recovery back home.
The 2015 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous expects approximately 61,000 attendees from 80 countries to convene in Atlanta July 2-5.
The theme of this convention, “80 Years — Happy, Joyous and Free,” reflects the phenomenon of A.A.’s growth around the world and celebrates A.A.’s three legacies of recovery, unity and service.
From Thursday, July 2, through early Sunday, July 5, convention events will be held at several venues, including the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Dome, Centennial Olympic Park and local hotels. Nearly 800 speakers will participate in A.A. topic meetings, panels, and special interest and regional meetings. Scheduled meetings also include panels of professionals that utilize A.A. as a resource, as well as Al-Anon (a separate fellowship for friends and relatives of alcoholics) and Alateen. Most meetings will be held in English, but there will also be meetings in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Russian, Polish, Lithuanian, Swedish and American Sign Language.
Convention highlights include an evening “Party in the Park” on Thursday and three “Big Meetings” Friday through Sunday. During the exciting Friday night flag ceremony at the Georgia Dome, members from each participating country will carry their national flags past cheering crowds.
Literature displays and archival exhibits will illustrate the rich history and international heritage of a Fellowship whose literature spans 90 languages and over 170 countries.
New this year is the “Carry the Message” pavilion where A.A. members will share their experience about how they work through various A.A. service committees to ensure that the A.A. message is available to any alcoholic seeking A.A.’s help.
The international convention was first held in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1950, and has continued every five years since. The most recent convention was held in San Antonio, Texas, in 2010. This year is the first time the convention will be held in Atlanta. Upcoming conventions will take place in Detroit, Michigan, in 2020, and Vancouver, Canada, in 2025.
Information about registering for the 2015 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous can be accessed here.
Convention planners anticipate a $60 million impact to the Atlanta economy attributed to attendees’ spending on hotel rooms, restaurant dining, sightseeing and travel (MARTA will be used extensively). Approximately 3,500 local A.A. members will offer Southern hospitality and help convention-goers manage their visit.
For general information about the convention, visit www.aa.org or call 212-870-3400.
About Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical and available almost everywhere. Membership is open to anyone who has a desire to stop drinking. Visit the AA.org Press/Media page for more information.
For more information contact:
Public Information coordinator
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.