November 23, 2016
Thanks for a powerful meeting in Minneapolis. The inspiration and positive energy flowing through every session, workshop and presentation made us realize, once again, why we turn to our community of anthropologists for inspiration and solidarity, especially in these troubling times. Now, with knowledge gained and connections made, it’s time to roll up our sleeves – we have work to do.
We are aware that members are deeply concerned about the political climate and the direction it may take in this utterly transformative time in American government. Rest assured we will not sit idly by. As a community of dedicated scholars, educators, and professionals we will utilize our anthropological scholarship to chart a way forward in the months and years to come. To ensure the greatest impact we will need to: 1) bring people together to exchange ideas regarding what they, as individuals, can take back to their organizations, communities, and schools for local action; 2) outline actions that we as an association can do; and 3) decide what we as an association can do in collaboration with other sister societies and organizations.
To get these actions started, effective immediately the AAA blog is opened as a space for you to offer descriptions of your activities in your own communities and to share ideas about what others can do. At 1 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7th, we are hosting a Twitter chat so that AAA members can openly exchange insights and ideas on the best way to move forward.
We are in the process of working on how to give heft to the advisory motions presented at the business meeting in the absence of a quorum. We are fortunate to have had the week of the annual meeting to hear members’ concerns and ideas, which will inform the Association’s next steps. It is as important we get this right as it is to get this out fast. Meantime, the Committee for Human Rights is crafting a statement and a declaration against the use of torture for Executive Board review. We will continue to highlight AAA’s Public Education Initiatives as vehicles for changing the public conversation about key concerns: racism and immigration. On the legislative front, we will continue to add our voice to the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), and other such organizations that advocate on behalf of public policies that reflect our shared ideals of inclusiveness and the respect for all persons.
We look forward to working in unity with you to reaffirm our shared ideals, our ongoing quest to advance understanding, our effort to “make the world safe for human differences,” and our commitment to applying anthropological knowledge to help solve human problems.
Alisse Waterston, President
Edward Liebow, Executive Director