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AAA Advocacy

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Advocating for the Humanities 

AAA advocates for the increase of federal funding streams that support scholars affiliated with the AAA. One of the key ways it does so is through its membership in the National Humanities Alliance, a coalition of organizations that advocates for federal funding for humanities research, teaching, programming, and preservation and access.

NHA monitors and cultivates support for the following agencies and programs:

About the National Humanities Alliance

The National Humanities Alliance (NHA) is a nationwide coalition of organizations advocating for the humanities on campuses, in communities, and on Capitol Hill. Founded in 1981, NHA is supported by over 200 member organizations, including colleges, universities, libraries, museums, cultural organizations, state humanities councils, and scholarly, professional, and higher education associations. It is the only organization that brings together the U.S. humanities community as a whole.

What we do:

  • Cultivate support for federal funding for the humanities
  • Promote the public value of the humanities
  • Promote the value of studying the humanities
  • Convene the humanities community to explore best practices for advocating for the humanities on campuses, in communities, and on Capitol Hill

Promoting the humanities on Capitol Hill

NHA advocates for federal funding for the humanities and policies that promote engagement with the humanities. It hosts Humanities Advocacy Day each March, during which state delegations travel to Capitol Hill, and supports year-round advocacy in congressional districts. When a high volume of constituent letters promises to sway Congressional opinions on a legislative issue, NHA issues action alerts to its members, to its large mailing list of advocates, and on social media. To ensure that their advocacy is effective as possible, NHA supports advocates’ efforts by researching the impact of federal funding for the humanities and creating resources that communicate the value of the humanities.  

Promoting the humanities on campuses

NHA supports faculty, administrators, and scholarly societies in making the case for the value of the humanities in a higher ed context. Through our Study the Humanities initiative, we have developed a toolkit that compiles quantitative and qualitative data on the benefits of studying the humanities as an undergraduate. We are also surveying the field for on-campus strategies that have successfully reversed declining enrollments in the humanities and will share these effective strategies with the higher ed community over the coming year. Through our Humanities for All initiative, we have collected over 1,500 examples of publicly engaged work at higher ed institutions. This collection of examples allow us to support scholars in deepening their publicly engaged practice and showcasing the value of their work. 

Promoting the humanities in communities 

NHA promotes public engagement with the humanities with the logic that the more people engage with the humanities, the more supportive of the humanities they will become. Through our NEH for All initiative, we are documenting the impact of humanities research, preservation, teaching, and programming in communities across the country. We harness the results of this impact research to make the case for the broad public value of the humanities and the need for public and private investment in the humanities ecosystem. 

                          


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