Article VII of the AHA Constitution states that the Association’s Council shall call a business meeting, open to all members of the Association in good standing, to convene at the time of the annual meeting. The business meeting of the 137th annual meeting is scheduled for Saturday, January 6, 2024, in San Francisco at the Hilton Union Square, Continental Ballroom 5, beginning at 5:15 p.m.
Bylaw 11(4), which provides procedures to carry out the business meeting, states that any member of the Association may present resolutions or other motions that introduce new business to the agenda of the annual business meeting. Such resolutions must
- be received in the office of the executive director not later than October 1 prior to the annual meeting, to allow time for publication;
- be in proper parliamentary form;
- be signed by members of the Association in good standing and by at least two percent (2%) of the total Association membership as of the end of the previous fiscal year;
- be less than 300 words in length, including any introductory material; and
- deal with a matter of concern to the Association or the discipline of history. Such resolutions must be in accord with the Association’s Guiding Principles on Taking a Public Stance.
Resolutions submitted by the deadline and meeting the criteria for consideration are published in the December issue of Perspectives on History and will be added to the business meeting agenda. The following resolution, signed by 244 AHA members in good standing as of October 1, 2023, was submitted to the AHA executive director for consideration at the January 6, 2024, business meeting. A full list of signatories can be viewed online at historians.org/business-mtg-24.
IN DEFENSE OF THE RIGHT TO LEARN
Whereas, Council’s Guiding Principles on Taking a Public Stance (2017) specify that “in a wide range of situations, whether involving the rights and careers of individual historians, historical practice in diverse venues, or the role of history in public culture, the AHA has the responsibility to take public stands”;
Whereas, Council further stipulated, as an example, “When public or private authorities . . . censor or seek to prevent the writing, publication, exhibition, teaching, or other practices of history or seek to punish historians . . . for conclusions they have reached and evidence they have unearthed as a result of legitimate historical inquiry,” mandating that “the AHA should defend historians, regardless of institutional affiliations or lack thereof, against efforts to limit their freedom of expression, or to punish them for ideas, grounded in legitimate historical inquiry, they have expressed or material they have uncovered”;
Whereas, numerous state legislatures and officials are censoring the teaching of history in public schools and universities;
Whereas, said legislation mandates the distortion of scholarship about such central topics as slavery, the dispossession of Indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ people;
Whereas, under pressure from partisan groups, school boards across the country are forcing teachers to censor their treatment of these issues in their classes, and libraries are removing canonical books in literature and history from their shelves;
Whereas, teachers and librarians who resist these measures have faced personal attacks and threats;
Therefore, the Association calls on its members to
- support AHA actions to uphold accuracy in history teaching;
- organize on your campus against the attacks on history and historians;
- defend academic freedom and job security for history teachers at every level;
- write editorials and letters to the editor defending teachers, librarians, and school board members; and
- testify before legislative bodies and school boards about the right to learn.
Participation in the business meeting is restricted to members. Please confirm in advance that your AHA membership is up to date by visiting historians.org/renew.
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