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Anthropologists: Time to Take Action!

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March 28, 2017

Anthropologists: Time to Take Action!

The new administration has settled in and is now considering a number of proposals that are of concern to the field of anthropology. A formal budget plan for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins October 1, 2017, will soon be released, and then Congress will begin the work of writing bills to fund federal government agencies and programs (and to complete the process for the current fiscal year, which began October 1, 2016).

Now is the time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

You may have seen news reports suggesting the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) could face potential elimination. The new administration is reportedly working from a Heritage Foundation blueprint that claims to reduce federal spending by $10 trillion over 10 years, and which calls for drastic cuts and consolidations of federal programs and agencies, including the elimination of NEA and NEH.

Anthropologists need to come together to stand strongly against these potentially devastating budget cuts.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Go on record in support of NEA and NEH. Make sure your members of Congress know how important these funds are to your research or institution. Let them know if your institution has benefitted from an NEH grant and share how the work completed with that grant benefits the greater community. 

    • The National Humanities Alliance has resources to help you prepare for your calls including issue briefs, an NEH fact sheet, and images for use on social media as well as a page where you can take direct action in support of humanities funding. 

  2. Register for Advocacy Days. Attending an advocacy day event is an excellent opportunity to receive training and lobby your representatives on behalf of social science research and the humanities.

    The Consortium of Social Science Associations is holding their annual Science Policy Conference and Social Science Advocacy Day on March 29-30. Join representatives from COSSA’s member associations to meet with representatives and share the value of anthropology.  
  3. Use our resources. In the wake of the 2016 US election, AAA has been gathering a variety of resources to support our members. Access those resources on the AAA blog and add resources that fellow anthropologists might find helpful in the comments. 

  4. Get social. The Congressional Management Foundation found that 80% of Congressional staff pay close attention to their constituents on social media. Find your elected officials, including their social media information, and start following them to learn about their priorities, so you are prepared to make the case. Also be sure to follow AAA on Facebook and Twitter and use #AnthroForward for advocacy updates, tools and resources.

  5. Attend the AAA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. AAA encourages its 10,000 worldwide members to come to Washington for our Annual Meeting this November to voice their concerns and criticisms. Holding the meeting in the US capital allows AAA members to engage directly with their representatives, and brainstorm practical academic responses with fellow anthropologists. This is your chance to personally let the government know, in hearable tones, about the pain and suffering it is causing in the US and abroad with its failure to imagine the consequences of its actions.

  6. Oppose the Congressional Review Act Resolution. We have recently learned that a measure to overturn the Bureau of Land Management Planning rule 2.0 will come up for a vote in Congress. The Planning 2.0 rule gives the public more opportunities to participate in management of the lands that belong to all of us. The Congressional Review Act resolution would strip out those opportunities, and prohibit the BLM from making any similar updates in the future, locking in inefficient and outdated regulations. Use this form to urge your members of Congress to oppose efforts to overturn the BLM Planning rule.

  7. Attend Town Hall Meetings. One of the most effective tactics we've seen over the years to influence Members of Congress is attending town hall meetings. Follow the Coalition for American Heritage on Facebook for updates on locations. 

  8. Support the March for Science. AAA is an official partner organization of the March for Science. Planning to march in Washington, DC on April 22? RSVP to our Facebook event to catch all of the logistics for anthropologists planning to march. We'll also be sharing additional resources like this Science Teach-In Toolkit from NCSE. 

Access all of AAA’s advocacy resources on our website.

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