AHA Advocacy 2022

  • AHA Supports Nomination of Colleen Shogan as Archivist of the United States (September 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs stating that it “enthusiastically supports” the nomination of Colleen Shogan as the 11th Archivist of the United States. Dr. Shogan “has worked effectively and productively with our members in such important settings as the Library of Congress, the White House Historical Society, and the America250 Commission,” the AHA wrote. “She has been especially effective as a collaborator across disciplines, drawing on her political science background to complement the work of archivists, librarians, and historians.”
  • AHA Sends Letter to South Dakota Board of Education Opposing Social Studies Standards Revision Process (2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to the South Dakota Board of Education opposing its social studies standards revision process.
  • AHA Signs Amicus Curiae Brief in Haaland v. Brackeen (August 2022)

    The AHA has co-sponsored, along with the Organization of American Historians, an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court case Haaland v. Brackeen. This brief, based on decades of study and research by professional historians, aims to provide an accurate historical perspective as the Court considers the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
  • AHA Letter to Virginia Governor Regarding Board of Historic Resources Appointments and Confederate Monuments (August 2022)

    The American Historical Association has sent a letter to Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin affirming the “importance of input from qualified historians” in deliberations about monuments in public spaces. “Your appointments to the Board of Historic Resources and other historical institutions fall within that reference to professional qualifications and democratic decision-making,” the AHA wrote. “A productive conversation requires that all participants act in good faith, with an informed understanding of scholarship and a careful and nuanced appreciation of the historical context.” The letter included a copy of the AHA’s Statement on Confederate Monuments, which “urge[s] communities faced with decisions about monuments to draw on the expertise of historians both for understanding the facts and chronology underlying such monuments and for deriving interpretive conclusions based on evidence.”
  • History, the Supreme Court, and Dobbs v. Jackson: Joint Statement from the AHA and the OAH (July 2022)

    The American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians have jointly issued a statement expressing dismay that the US Supreme Court “declined to take seriously the historical claims of our [amicus curiae] brief” in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. “Instead, the court adopted a flawed interpretation of abortion criminalization that has been pressed by anti-abortion advocates for more than thirty years. … These misrepresentations are now enshrined in a text that becomes authoritative for legal reference and citation in the future. The court’s decision erodes fundamental rights and has the potential to exacerbate historic injustices and deepen inequalities in our country.” To date, 30 organizations have signed onto the statement.
  • AHA Endorses LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act (June 2022)

    The AHA has formally endorsed the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act, a bill that “ensures that lawmakers and federal agencies have the comprehensive data they need to advance policies that better serve LGBTQI+ people.” “Full equality and sound policy can only be achieved when we count all members of our community,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), who introduced the legislation. “Lawmakers and agencies are one step closer to finally having comprehensive data to craft better policies to remedy and address the disparities faced by LGBTQI+ individuals—particularly people of color—to ensure their needs are met.” The bill passed the US House of Representatives on June 23.
  • AHA Signs On to ASEH Letter Opposing Closure of EPA Digital Archive (June 2022)

    The AHA has signed on to a letter from the American Society for Environmental History opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to sunset its online archive in July 2022. In addition to being “immensely useful to environmental historians,” ASEH writes, “[t]he site has provided resources for others working in ecology, biology, toxicology, and other environmental sciences as well as geography, law, sociology, political science, and public health. … Not least among those who have relied on the EPA’s online archive are those working with and living in more marginalized or environmental justice communities, a stated priority of current EPA leadership.”
  • AHA Signs On to Letter Advocating for Title VI Funding (May 2022)

    The AHA has signed on to a letter to Congress from the Coalition for International Education urging stronger funding for the US Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education programs, including HEA-Title IV programs and Fulbright-Hays programs. “Many more programs would be made available to address the nation’s critical needs for advanced fluency in foreign languages, world regions and international business,” the letter states. “Students from all racial and socio-economic backgrounds would have more opportunities to obtain the international experience and skills in growing demand across a wide range of professional and technical fields impacting our global engagement, security and competitiveness.”
  • AHA Signs On to Joint Statement of Opposition to Banning Scholars Based on Citizenship (March 2022)

    The American Historical Association has signed onto a joint statement from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies, and the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages “strongly oppos[ing] the vilification and exclusion of our Russian and Belarusian students and colleagues.” “Banning Russians and Belarusians based solely on their citizenship goes against our fundamental principles of scholarship, open communication, and dialogue,” says the statement. “Such sanctions have the potential to harm those living in authoritarian regimes who are opposed to the war. We encourage all members of our community who stand against the war in Ukraine to come together and support our students and colleagues.”
  • AHA Sends Letter to Iowa State University Urging Reconsideration of Planned Budget Cuts (March 2022)

    The American Historical Association has sent a letter to the leadership of Iowa State University expressing “grave concern about Iowa State University’s ‘reimagining’ of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the imposition of a cumulative 34% cut to the Department of History’s already lean operating budget.” “[W]e are mystified by the logic of a budget that will so dramatically diminish the presence of a department that has performed well, operated efficiently, and plays a central role in the university’s historic roots as a land grant institution dedicated to the role of higher education in public culture,” the AHA writes. The letter urges “the college to reconsider its drastic differential cuts” and emphasizes the Department of History is a “positive good to the budget, the university, and the citizens of Iowa.”
  • AHA Sends Letter to Ohio Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to members of the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee opposing HB 327, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letters to Alabama Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent letters to the Alabama House of Representatives and Senate opposing HB 312, HB 8, HB 9, and HB 11, as well as SB 292, SB 9, and SB 7, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letters to Alaska Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent letters to the Alaska House and Senate Education Committees opposing HB 228, HB 330, HB 343, HB 391, and SB 196, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Signs On to Coalition for International Education Letter Urging Reauthorization of Key Title IV Programs (March 2022)

    The AHA has signed on to a letter from the Coalition for International Education calling on congressional leaders to support the reauthorization of key programs under Title VI of the Higher Education Act. “Since the National Defense Education Act of 1958, Title VI continues to be a key federal-university partnership in the nation’s strategy for ensuring US security, global competitiveness, and deep understanding of foreign languages and cultures,” the letter states. “The USICA and COMPETE Act bills reauthorize the key Title VI foundational programs that address the nation’s critical and expanding needs for expertise in foreign languages, world regions, and international business, to be available whenever an international or global crisis erupt.”
  • AHA Signs On to African Studies Association Statement on Discriminatory Treatment of Africans Fleeing War in Ukraine (March 2022)

    The AHA has signed onto a statement from the African Studies Association (ASA) on the “discriminatory treatment meted out to Africans, including scholars and students, fleeing the war in Ukraine.” In the statement, the ASA condemns “this discriminatory, inhumane, and racist treatment of Africans fleeing Ukraine, which clearly violates international law,” and "call[s] on Ukrainian and authorities in neighboring countries to treat all those fleeing the conflict equally, with dignity, and without discrimination based on race or status.”
  • AHA Sends Letter to Maryland Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to members of the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee opposing HB 1256, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letter to West Virginia Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to members of the West Virginia House of Delegates opposing Senate Bills 498, 45, 182, 558, 587, and 618 and House Bills 4011, 4016, and 2595, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letters to Tennessee Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent letters to the Tennessee House of Representatives and Senate opposing HB 2670 and SB 2290, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letter to Indiana Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (February 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to members of the Indiana Senate opposing HB 1134, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letter to Kentucky Legislature Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate opposing SB 138, HB 14, and HB 18 , which would restrict history education.
  • Historians Condemn Russian Invasion of Ukraine (February 2022)

    The AHA has released a statement “condemn[ing] in the strongest possible terms Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine” and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s abuse of history as justification for the attack. “Putin’s rhetorical premise for this brutal violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty is anchored by a set of outlandish historical claims, including an argument that Ukraine was entirely a Soviet creation,” the AHA wrote. “We vigorously support the Ukrainian nation and its people in their resistance to Russian military aggression and the twisted mythology that President Putin has invented to justify his violation of international norms.” To date, 42 organizations have signed onto the statement.
  • Bomb Threats against HBCUs: A History of Domestic Terrorism (February 2022)

    The AHA has released a statement historicizing and condemning the numerous bomb threats received by at least 17 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in early 2022. “These crimes are part of a long history of attacks on institutions that serve the Black community," writes the AHA. “[These acts] spawned not only a hateful legacy, but also a current, ongoing threat to the physical safety and emotional well-being of all Black Americans.” To date, 44 organizations have signed onto the statement.
  • AHA Sends Letter to Arizona Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (February 2022)

    The AHA has sent letters to the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate opposing HB 2112 and HB 2291, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letter to Missouri Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (February 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to the Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee opposing the following House Bills before the committee: HB 1457, HB 1474, HB 1484, HB 1554, HB 1634, HB 1669, HB 1767, HB 1815, HB 1835, HB 2132, HB 2189, and HB 2428.
  • AHA Sends Letters to Florida Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (February 2022)

    The AHA has sent letters to the Florida House of Representatives and Senate opposing HB 7, HB 57, and HB 1557 and SB 148, SB 242, and SB 1834, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letters to Georgia Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (February 2022)

    The AHA has sent letters to the Georgia House of Representatives Education Committee and Senate Committee on Education and Youth opposing HB 1084 and SB 377, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letters to South Dakota Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (February 2022)

    The AHA has sent letters to the South Dakota House of Representatives and Senate opposing HB 1337 and HB 1012, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letter to Kansas Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to the Kansas Senate Committee on Education opposing HB 515, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letter to Nebraska Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to the Nebraska Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee opposing LB 1077, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letter to Oklahoma Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent letters to the Oklahoma House and Senate Education Committees and Senate Judiciary Committee opposing HB 2988, SB 1141, SB 803, and SB 1401, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Sends Letters to South Carolina Legislature Opposing Legislation Restricting History Education (March 2022)

    The AHA has sent letters to the South Carolina House Education and Public Works Committee and Senate Education Committee opposing H 4799, H 4605, H 4392, H 4343, H 4325, and SB 0982, which would restrict history education.
  • AHA Condemns Violations of Presidential Records Act (February 2022)

    The AHA has released a statement “condemn[ing] in the strongest terms former President Donald J. Trump’s reported extensive and repeated violations of the Presidential Records Act of 1978.” “Historians, journalists, and other researchers depend on the preservation of presidential records to educate the public and inform future administrations,” the AHA wrote. “These acts of destruction and noncompliance with the Presidential Records Act demonstrate blatant contempt for both the rule of law and the principles of transparency and accountability that constitute the bedrock of our nation’s democracy.” To date, 30 organizations have signed onto this statement.
  • AHA Sends Letter to Collin College President Regarding Nonrenewal of History Faculty (February 2022)

    The AHA has sent a letter to Collin College president Dr. Neil Matkin stating that it “views with alarm your decision not to renew the contract of Dr. Michael Phillips, professor of history” after Professor Phillips’s request that his students “consider wearing masks to protect their own health and the health of their classmates.” This request, along with the historical context Professor Phillips provided about responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, was “well within institutional guidelines. . . . We fear that your actions will serve to intimidate other history professors who seek to teach about the history of pandemics and other controversial issues, and seek to protect the health of their students.”
  • AHA Signs Statement Urging State Department to Protect Afghan Students and Scholars (February 2022)

    The AHA has signed onto a statement from the Middle Eastern Studies Association, the American Institute of Afghan Studies, and Scholars at Risk encouraging US State Department officials “to take immediate action to enable the safe and speedy relocation of Afghanistan's students and scholars, many of whom represent the best and brightest of the country's young generation.” The current admission pathways into the US, the statement says, “are not available to many Afghans who face challenges . . . . As the spring semester commences, we strongly encourage the White House to seize this moment and open a pathway for them to return to school and productive academic careers.”
  • AHA Sends Letter Opposing Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District Resolution (January 2022)

    The AHA sent a letter to leaders at the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District opposing the proposed Resolution No. 21-12, “Resolution Opposing the Teaching of Critical Race Theory.” “If the district is committed to academic freedom,” the AHA writes, “why has it singled out one set of ideas—critical race theory—as a subject that cannot be taught in Placentia-Yorba Linda schools?” The AHA hopes history teachers will not be required to minimize historical transgressions or their influence on the evolution of American institutions. “To do so would be a direct and clear violation of ‘the commitment to teach a complete and accurate account of history.’” The letter includes a statement criticizing similar legislative efforts to restrict education about racism in American history, co-authored by the AHA in June 2021 and signed by 152 organizations.