Anthropologists: Time to Take Action! - Participate and Advocate
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Anthropologists: Time to Take Action!

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February 12, 2019

The new administration has settled in and is now considering a number of proposals that are of concern to the field of anthropology. Now is the time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Anthropologists need to come together to stand strongly against these potentially devastating decisions. 

Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. 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 National Humanities Alliance (NHA) Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day will be held March 10-12 in Washington, DC. Learn more about the NHA and how to register here. 

    The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) Science Policy Conference and Social Science Advocacy Day will be held April 30- May 1 in Washington, DC. Learn more about COSSA and how to register here.

  2. Stay in the know. AAA members are eligible to attend COSSA's monthly "Headlines" webchats recapping the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month and answering questions from participants. Visit their website for more information and to see the full schedule. 

  3. Join the March for Science. AAA is an official partner organization of the March for Science. Download Building Momentum: Advocacy Resources for Societies here. 

    Help MFS put the science back in "science." 
    In 2018, we join together as science advocates to ask that President Trump prioritize appointing individuals with the appropriate level of science training and experience to critical science roles in our government. We ask that he preserve vital science roles in our government and give agencies the support they need to fill vacant positions.  As part of this process, we demand that Congress thoroughly examine the scientific background and qualifications of each candidate proposed for science leadership. Learn more and sign the petition here. 

  4. Speak out about gun violence. Join AAA and the March for Science as we call for Congress to fund the research we need to enact evidence-based policies to prevent gun violence. Read the open letter and add your name here

  5. Save the NEH! The Presidential Budget Request for FY 2019 again calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities along with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Education’s International Education Programs, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and the Institute for Museums and Library Services. The request also calls for the elimination of federal funding for the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

    This is an assault on humanities research, education, and programming - all of which are essential to the cultivation of our national heritage and civic culture. Now is the time to speak out to ensure that Congress rejects these proposals for FY 2019. Let your Members of Congress know that you support the NEH! 

  6. Support UNESCO. The American Anthropological Association, a credentialed observer with UNESCO’s Economic and Social Council non-governmental organization group, remains firmly allied and engaged with the international protocols and conventions it has developed. We stand united with our colleagues, peers and students around the world in support of UNESCO’s mission. Read our full statement. The AAA has also signed on to additional statements of concern regarding the withdrawal of the US from UNESCO with the Society for American Archaeology, the American Cultural Resources Association, and the Society for Historical Archaeology and with a coalition of seven other heritage organizations

  7. Stand up for Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico syllabus project provides a list of resources for teaching and learning about the current economic crisis in Puerto Rico. The goal is to contribute to the ongoing public dialogue and rising social activism regarding the debt crisis by providing tools with which to assess its roots and its repercussions. Contribute or access the materials here. Additionally, more than 200 academics have signed their names to this statement addressing the current humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. The Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC) is also in need of financial support in the wake of Hurricane Maria. You can learn more and make a donation here

  8. Advocate for others. People from Latin America, Africa, and six Muslim-majority nations have been targeted by the Trump administration for arbitrary detention, increased surveillance, deportation, and immigration bans. Find additional details in our Congressional Action Alert on Immigration. You can also read AAA's statement against the Trump administration's plans to eliminate the DACA program
  9. Stand against racism. In the wake of recent events in Charlottesville, the AAA joined forces with the American Historical Association, the Society for Applied Anthropology, and the American Sociological Association to establish the Understanding Race After Charlottesville initiative to help our members and the public continue moving forward with important conversations on race and convert those conversations to action. The cycle of violence must end.

  10. Advance scientific stewardship. The Consortium of Social Science Associations co-leads the Coalition to Promote Research (CPR), a coalition of national organizations committed to promoting public health, innovation, and fundamental knowledge through scientific research. Their petition: Advancing Principles of Scientific Stewardship reaffirms support for responsible and effective stewardship of the scientific infrastructure and maintaining the quality of our nation’s research enterprise by embracing the fundamental values that have long sustained its development.

  11. Urge your members of Congress to fund science. Show your support for scientific research by contacting your members of Congress, and urging them support science while they craft their appropriations bills. Use this contact form on the AAAS website.

  12. Go on record in support of humanities programs. Make sure your members of Congress know how important programs like international education (Title VI and Fulbright Hayes) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) are to your research or institution. Let them know if your institution has benefitted from federal funding for the humanities 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. 

  13. 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. Find resources to help you prepare and tips for locating a meeting near you on the AAAS website. Follow the Coalition for American Heritage on Facebook for additional updates. 
  14. 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. 

  15. 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.

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

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