Published Date

January 8, 2017

Resource Type

AHA Policies and Documents

Approved by AHA Council January 6, 1994; modified January 2005 and January 8, 2017.

It is the policy of the American Historical Association not to hold its annual meetings in locations where its members reasonably believe they would be subject to discrimination on the basis of age, sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, physical ability, race, or religion. Reasonable belief of such discrimination may be based on discriminatory legislation, the absence of appropriate state or city laws, actions by public officials, or private actions, whether individual or corporate, for which there is inadequate public response. The Association will implement this policy in its negotiations for annual meeting sites.

The AHA reaffirms its long-standing support of the right of workers to organize by continuing its practice of union preference in negotiating hotel and service contracts for the annual meeting and for any other meetings organized by the AHA.

The Council recognizes that the diverse legal and historical circumstances of existing or future prospective meeting sites will require some flexibility in the implementation of this policy. Ultimately each decision must be made on a case-by-case basis according to the judgment of the prevailing Council. The following items represent general guidelines and procedures for determining those decisions.


Guidelines for Implementation

  1. The Council directs that its staff should seek prospective annual meeting sites among cities and states that have laws, ordinances, regulations, rules, policies, and other conditions that protect and encourage the Association’s members in that meeting. This policy shall not require the exclusion of a meeting site solely on the grounds of an absence of city or state laws guaranteeing equal rights.
  2. The Council will approve a meeting site only after a thorough investigation of legal or policy situations, existing or potential, relevant to its equal rights policy, or to the labor practices of the prospective hotels. A meeting site evaluation form for each recommended location and hotel will be submitted routinely to the Council along with other materials relevant to its decision.
  3. In considering the selection of a meeting site, the Council may take into account recent history of substantial and effective opposition to equal rights protection, including legislation or referenda. The existence of “dead-letter” laws, i.e., laws on the books that are generally agreed to be defunct or unenforced, will not necessarily be taken as grounds for exclusion.
  4. Hotels or other contracting parties must have explicit and effective policies assuring equal employment and fair labor practices.