Publication Date

February 8, 2011

The National Humanities Alliance (NHA) has released a Humanities Action Alert, encouraging those who value the humanities to contact Congress, through this online form, and ask them to support continued funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NHA Executive Director Jessica Jones Irons sent out the action alert, explaining that President Obama will release the FY 2012 budget next week. She says:

As you know, we face a tough fight this year to defend federal funding for the humanities. President Obama has announced that he will release the FY 2012 budget proposal the week of February 14th, with significant reductions expected for many agencies and programs to meet the Administration’s deficit-reduction goals. In Congress, leaders of the House Republican Study Committee and Senate Steering Committee have introduced legislation calling for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (among other programs), in order to reduce discretionary spending by more than $2.5 billion over the next ten years. Meanwhile, the House is expected to vote soon on a measure that would roll-back non-security funding in the current year (FY 2011) to 2008 budget levels.

Members of the new Congress need to hear from humanities advocates now. Please take a few minutes to ask your elected representatives to support continued funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Click here to send a brief, customizable electronic message from the Alliance’s online action center.

We need to let Congress know that continued federal investment in the humanities has never been more important. As one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the U.S., NEH provides critical support for research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities through grants to a wide range of educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and scholars nationwide. NEH grants help support the nation’s education and research infrastructure for a broad range of fields, including history, languages, literature, law, government, philosophy, cultural anthropology, the study of religion, and other subjects. The knowledge and competencies represented by these fields are critical to a broad range of U.S. interests, including: fostering a globally competitive workforce, strengthening civic engagement and understanding, preserving our cultural heritage, and developing expertise to meet local, national, and global challenges.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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