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AAA Challenges Questions on US Census

On May 27, AAA President Virginia Dominguez sent a letter to the Census Bureau suggesting alternatives to the label “linguistically isolated’ which it uses to classify people who live in households where no one over the age of 14 speaks English “very well.” See http://blog.aaanet.org/2010/05/27/aaa-challenges-questions-on-us-census/

Or AAA homepage link : http://www.aaanet.org/.

The letter was written by the newly constituted SLA Committee on Language and Social Justice, which partners with the AAA Committee on Human Rights (CfHR).  This is a follow up to the AAA¹s  2007 AAA resolution (see http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/Language-in-US-Census-Resolution.cfm

<http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/Language-in-US-Census-Resolution.cfm&gt; ), and previous correspondence with the Census Bureau. Those letters, which can be viewed at www.aaanet.org/cmtes/cfhr/index.cfm, <http://www.aaanet.org/cmtes/cfhr/index.cfm>, <http://www.aaanet.org/cmtes/cfhr/index.cfm> , reveal the unwillingness of the Census Bureau to change the language questions, but a willingness to re-consider their use of ³Linguistically Isolated.²  The Committee is hopeful that their efforts over the last four years will finally result in critical changes in the way the Census 2010 data are reported, and we will continue to press for changes in the language questions themselves.

Professors Beyond Borders Grows after April Launch

The new non-profit Professors Beyond Borders reports that is has expanded by nearly 200 members since its April 26 launch. The group was conceptualized by US Dept. of State-sponsored Fulbright New Century Scholars with the goal “to create a network of highly-trained, academically oriented volunteers available to assist with specific projects related to sustainable development… around the world.” Initial projects are scheduled in Thailand and Haiti. You can learn more about the PBB team and join the initiative through their website.

AAUP Releases 2009-10 Report on Faculty Salaries

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has announced the release of No Refuge: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2009-10. The AAUP website notes,

This year’s report discusses faculty salaries in the context of turbulent financial times and suggests that faculty salaries are concrete indicators of institutional priorities. Mandatory furloughs, hiring and salary freezes, and reductions in retirement-fund contributions are all symptoms of a continuing disinvestment in the faculty.

For highlights and links, see the report webpage.

AAA Delivers Hill Testimony on NSF Funding

On April 10, AAA Executive Director William Davis appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies to offer formal testimony in support of the Obama Administration’s request for an appropriation of $7.4 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Davis noted that while NSF provides only 21 percent of the total federal budget for basic research conducted in U.S. colleges and universities, the agency supports over half, or 57 percent, of all federal support committed for research in the social sciences.  For disciplines like anthropology, this support has tremendous significance.

Davis also noted that the NSF has, in the past, provided support to the American Anthropological Association for the development of a museum exhibit (RACE: Are We So Different?) currently traveling the country which stimulates public discussion and public education on the science, history and lived experience of race.

AAAS Adopts Statement “On the Human Right to the Benefits of Scientific Progress”

On Friday, April 16, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Board of Directors adopted a statement “On the human right to the benefits of scientific progress.” To read the full statement, please click on the “read more” link below. Information about current AAAS activities in this area is available online, via their Science and Human Rights Program website. Continue reading

Foreign Scholars Regain Entry to US

Last year, the AAA joined a number of organizations in urging the State Dept. and Homeland Security to stop denying visas to foreign scholars, writers, and activists based upon their political views, associations, and ideas. This practice of “ideological exclusion,” a legacy of the Bush administration, has slowly been showing signs of change. In January, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reversed a decision to deny entry to Adam Habib and Tariq Ramadan, two prominent Muslim scholars. Ramadan recently made his first public appearance since the ban to discuss building bridges with the Islamic world. The AAA continues to work with its partners to ensure that this practice is brought to an end.

Click here to view a copy (.pdf) of the letter addressed to the US Attorney General, Dept. of Homeland Security, and Dept. of State.

AAA Members Vote to Support Honduras Resolution

The following is a message from AAA Secretary Debra Martin:

Dear AAA Member:

As the Secretary of the American Anthropological Association, I am pleased to report to you the results of our latest ballot initiative. At the most recent annual meeting, a resolution was adopted at the business meeting by a quorum of members. This resolution, in short, asks that the AAA denounce the current human rights violations and support Hondurans that have resisted and continue to resist the June 28, 2009 military coup in their country. The resolution also calls for the support of efforts by progressive forces to facilitate a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis. Continue reading

AAA on the Hill: Racial Disparities Podcast

Congresswoman and CBC Chair Barbara Lee (D-CA) addresses the panel

Panelists continued conversations about race during the second day of the AAA symposium, “A New National Dialogue on Race,” that took place on Capitol Hill. We were happy to have the honorable Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Barbara Lee (D-CA) drop in on the panel to stress the importance of holding a civil dialogue on race and to thank the AAA and Science Museum of Minnesota for their continued work on the RACE exhibit. Questions that were left unanswered during the Q&A are copied below. Continue reading

AAA on the Hill: The State of Race in 2010 Podcast

A small portion of the RACE exhibit was on display

On Jan. 12-13, 2010, the AAA was joined by the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus in hosting a groundbreaking symposium, “A New National Dialogue on Race,” on Capitol Hill. The program brought together diverse leaders to discuss a vision for race dialogue, identify trends in racial disparities, and consider a social justice agenda for 2010 and beyond. A recording of the first panel is provided below, along with pictures and questions that panelists did not have time to answer. Continue reading

AAA Commission Releases Final Report on Army Human Terrain System

The AAA’s Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the US Security and Intelligence Communities (CEAUSSIC) released its Final Report on the Army’s Human Terrain System Proof of Concept Program [pdf]. CEAUSSIC held a press conference on the report during the 2009 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Media links and the executive summary are copied below:

Executive Summary

In December of 2008, the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association asked the Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the U.S. Security and Intelligence Communities (CEAUSSIC) to thoroughly review the Human Terrain System (HTS) program, so that the AAA might then formulate an official position on members’ participation in HTS activities. This report details CEAUSSIC’s primary findings, which are summarized in the following key points:
Continue reading


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