AHA Freedom to Learn Letters

The freedom to learn our nation’s history is under siege. In many states, legislators have introduced “divisive concepts” bills that seek to limit history education in ways that would make it virtually impossible for teachers to help students to thoughtfully consider slavery and racism in American historical development. Some of these proposals have already become law. While most of this legislation is aimed at public primary and secondary education, many also specifically include or have implications for public higher education.

The AHA has sent letters to legislators in the following states.

Read "Legislative Advocacy Letters: Behind the Scenes at the AHA" in Perspectives on History to learn how we carefully research and craft each letter.

Support the AHA's Advocacy Efforts

The AHA is unique among history organizations with the breadth and depth of our advocacy efforts. Our advocacy work is more critical now than ever before, and we need your help. If you believe in the importance of honest history education, please join the AHA as a member or donate to the AHA's Operating Fund to support our advocacy work.

Joint Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism in American History

In June 2021, the American Association of University Professors, the American Historical Association, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and PEN America authored a joint statement stating their “firm opposition” to legislation, introduced in at least 20 states, that would restrict the discussion of “divisive concepts” in public education institutions.

AHA Condemns Report of Advisory 1776 Commission

In January 2021, the AHA issued a statement condemning the report from “The President’s Advisory 1776 Commission.” “Written hastily in one month after two desultory and tendentious ‘hearings,’” the AHA writes, “without any consultation with professional historians of the United States, the report fails to engage a rich and vibrant body of scholarship that has evolved over the last seven decades.”

Acknowledgments

The AHA is grateful to the Agentives Fund, Lumina Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation for their support of various elements of this initiative. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this work do not necessarily represent those of the supporting agencies.