Getting AANR On Board with Amtrak

My husband and I were on the Amtrak Auto Train heading to the Midwinter AANR-Board meeting when I discovered Amtrak had blocked access to AANR’s website, deeming the content objectionable. I found this disconcerting. 
On February 1, 2018, I emailed Amtrak Customer Relations: 
 
My husband and I have just completed our first Auto Train trip to Florida for a business meeting and we very much enjoyed this experience. Everything was extremely organized, the staff was pleasant and efficient, and the accommodations were more than satisfactory. We may actually have become train converts!
 
However, my husband and I were unexpectedly disappointed when we found the website blocked for my organization, the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), especially since we were taking the Auto Train to attend our midwinter meeting. And many other members also travel the same way. 
 
AANR is an 87-year-old legitimate organization dedicated to, among many things, educating the public about the wholesome and healthy benefits of social nudism for individuals and families of all walks of life. Unfortunately, there are sectors of the public who hold erroneous, stereotypical beliefs about those of us who enjoy clothing-free recreation and social interaction. This way of life has been shown to enhance self-confidence, body image and a sense of wellness, relaxation, and freedom. However, unrealistic depictions of supermodels often precipitate body dissatisfaction, (according to research studies, even in girls as young as five) and promote multimillion dollar spending on plastic surgery, anti-aging products, and diet plans. Children who have grown up in a naturist environment recognize that most people do not look like these female or male supermodels...instead, the vast majority of humans come in all shapes, colors, sizes, and physical conditions. Thus, their realistic perceptions tend to be far less judgmental and more accepting of differences...traits that make good citizens. 
 
In summary, banning AANR’s website under the guise of inappropriate content perpetuates the very stereotypical thinking that we are aiming to overcome. Perhaps a visit to www.aanr.com or a call to its office will validate our aims, philosophy, and stringent behavioral code. Thus, as a member of AANR’s Board of Trustees, I would like to strongly urge that you unblock this website and treat it as you would any other acceptable site.
 
Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to a response.
 
Sincerely, 
Dr. Ronna E. Krozy, AANR Club Trustee
 
 
On February 5, 2018, I received the following response:
Dear Dr. Ronna Krozy: Thank you for your recent correspondence.
I just wanted to inform you that I have been assigned to your case and have forwarded your email to the appropriate department for consideration. They will review the site and content and work towards a resolution. As soon as they get back to me I will contact you. We hope to see you onboard again soon.
 
Again, thank you for writing.
Case #: 4465006
Sean C. McDonough
Customer Relations Specialist
Amtrak | 60 Massachusetts Avenue NE | Washington, DC 20002
Email: sean.mcdonough@amtrak.com
 
With no additional response after one month, I sent another inquiry on March 10, 2018:
Dear Mr. McDonough:  I am wondering if there has been any progress made since I sent my letter of concern regarding Amtrak’s blocking of my organization’s website. As a board member, I am both an advocate and author of many articles on advocacy for the AANR Bulletin. My discovery of the blocked website while on the Auto Train and my effort to change this will be another interesting example of advocacy which I plan to write about. It is my hope that I can provide a “happy ending” based on Amtrak’s response.... that is, that Amtrak has been enlightened about the legitimacy of this organization and the high standards expected of the many individuals, families, and clubs who affiliate with us. AANR does not promote, depict, or approve of inappropriate behavior or material; rather, we promote healthy, safe, and wholesome environments for like-minded naturists to enjoy living naturally.   
 
Thank you for any update you can provide.
 
THE RESULTS? Well....Still no further communication from Amtrak. However, I did learn on March 15, 2018 that Susan Weaver, Past President and current Club Trustee, successfully accessed the AANR website while on the Auto Train heading home. I quickly emailed a sincere thanks to the Amtrak Customer Relations Specialist for his intervention and asked if he wanted a copy of the article. I will see if he responds.
 
And the moral of the story? Those of us who want to change the way the world sees us as nudists must remain vigilant regarding public opinion. We must seek opportunities to uncover barriers to our way of life and to be part of the change we all wish to see.

Taken from the AANR Monthly Bulletin, "Across the Board" brings information and thoughts from the Governing Board of AANR to you. The Board values your membership and wants to make sure that it is doing what is right for the members and clubs. The first step is good two-way communication.