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Budget Cuts Impact Humanities

Most federal humanities programs received major cuts in FY 2011, and new budget allocations released by the House indicate that FY 2012 could result in even larger across-the-board reductions. As work on FY 2012 appropriations in Congress moves forward, you can help by contacting your congressional representatives. Here are two programs that directly impact many AAA members:

Title VI/Fulbright-Hays International Education Programs
The U.S. Department of Education just cancelled all new Fulbright-Hays International Education Program grants, stating: “Congressional action on the FY 2011 budget substantially reduced funds available for grants from the Title VI Programs, including new grants under the DDRA (Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad) Program. Therefore, no new awards will be made under the DDRA Program in FY 2011.”
Please write your Members of Congress and ask them to restore FY 2012 funding for the Department of Education’s International Education and Foreign Language Studies programs-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays- to the FY 2010 enacted level of $125.9 million.

Ask Congress to Support the Humanities – Restore NEH FY12 Funding
Please write your Members of Congress and ask them to support the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by requesting $167.5 million in FY12 funding for the agency. This would restore NEH funding to the same level the agency received in FY10. As you may know, the final, FY11 year-end Continuing Resolution (CR) set NEH funding for the current year at $155 million–a $12.5 million cut from the FY10 level.  In the FY12 Budget Proposal, President Obama has requested $146 million for the agency in FY12.  If enacted, this figure would represent an even deeper, $21 million cut from the FY10 level.

The National Humanities Alliance has template messages in which you can personalize for your congressional representative. Please contact your representative today!

Examples of Humanities Teaching and Research with Societal Benefits

AAA needs your help! Many of our members receive federally funded grants to conduct humanities research and education that have produced direct or indirect benefits for society. AAA is helping the National Humanities Alliance in continuing efforts to articulate the value of the humanities in response to the proposed spending cuts by Congress and the Administration to the National Endowment for the Humanities and other federal funding for humanities teaching and research in Fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

These proposed cuts are a very serious threat, particularly in an environment where Members of Congress are looking hard for ways to reduce federal spending. We must be prepared to defend federal support for the humanities with facts and examples of how they contribute to: the classroom; local, state or national public policy arenas; public knowledge creation; the preservation of history and heritage; the economy; global challenges and national security.

Please drop us a comment to this blog post with your examples of primarily federally supported humanities research and education that have resulted in nationally significant and demonstrable economic educations, social, policy, and/or national security benefits. Ideally, these examples will be mature research programs or historical examples (where the studies or activities are complete). We are especially interested in examples with value demonstrated by strong qualitative anecdotes and evidence or quantitative data.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with this critical task for the future of funding humanities research and education.

Humanities at the Forefront of Congressional Vote on National Budget

The Annual Meeting for the National Humanities Alliance took place on March 7, 2011 at George Washington University, followed by Humanities Advocacy Day on March 8 at Capitol Hill. The Annual Meeting was an opportunity to provide concrete ways to exemplify and frame arguments to support the humanities, skills meeting participants would need for the following Advocacy day.

AAA’s Director of Public Affairs, Damon Dozier was featured in a three member panel that exemplified the field of humanities. Dozier emphasized the importance of education through the biological sciences and cultural perceptions o f race. Through the RACE: Are We So Different? public education program, AAA has spurred dialogue across the nation to embrace cultural differences and rethink preconceived notions of race and racism in the United States.

Bill Davis, AAA’s Executive Director, joined NHA’s national delegation that met with congressional members that hold stature within congressional committees. Damon Dozier and Joslyn Osten, Marketing & Communications Manager, joined first-time constituent lobbyist, Hollis Clayson of Northwestern University in meeting with the representatives of Illinois. While all meetings with congressional staffers were fruitful, feedback led to the conclusion that the representatives who have a history of supporting humanities will work out the best possible solution to minimize the financial impact of the national budget on humanities funding.

Although NHA’s Advocacy Day was a success, lobbying for humanities funding cannot be completed in just one day. Congress will be voting this week and in the coming weeks on bills and revisions to settle the national budget. NHA and AAA need your help in communicating the critical need for funding the research and grant-related programming offered in your communities today. Contact your congressional representative now to demonstrate your support for humanities and visit NHA’s website to stay tuned in to the latest budgetary developments.

NHA deadline extended – Register Today!

The NHA extened their deadline to register for Humanities Advocacy Day until Friday! Our offer still stands for the FIRST person to register, AAA will waive the registration fee. For all the details and to register, check out our earlier post.

National Humanities Alliance’s Annual Meeting & Humanities Advocacy Day – Register Today

Each year, the American Anthropological Association partners with the National Humanities Alliance to sponsor Humanities Advocacy Day, a chance for anthropologists and other who work in humanities-related fields to meet their Congressional representatives and advocate for much-needed additional funding for the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and other Federal agencies. Details and registration information about the event are below.

AAA is proud to announce that the first registrant for this event will have their registration fee waived. We urge you to participate in this event, and if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact AAA Director of Public Affairs Damon Dozier at (703) 528-1902 ext. 1163.

Register for the National Humanities Alliance’s 2011 Annual Meeting & Humanities Advocacy Day.  With a new Congress, and increasing budgetary pressures on federal spending, your help is needed now more than ever to defend critical humanities programs.  Online registration is available for the March 7-8 events taking place in Washington, DC at The George Washington University’s Marvin Center and on Capitol Hill.  Strong participation in Humanities Advocacy Day events is essential to increasing public support for, and understanding of, the humanities.

Join the NHA for this national gathering of the humanities community.  Make plans to attend this important event and connect with a growing number of participants who are actively engaged in humanities policy and advocacy. 

The 2011 preliminary program includes:
•New advocate training (pre-meeting event)
•Opening keynote address with David J. Skorton, President, Cornell University
•Presentations of current and compelling work in the humanities
•Luncheon
•Commentary and briefings on the post-election landscape and humanities funding priorities
•Capitol Hill reception sponsored by HISTORY
•Congressional visits

Confirmed meeting and reception speakers include:
•Jim Leach, Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities (Hill reception)
•Rep. Thomas Petri (R-WI- 6), Co-Chair Congressional Humanities Caucus (Hill reception)
•Damon Dozier, Director of Public Affairs, American Anthropological Association- RACE Project
•Ashley Marshall, Johns Hopkins University Postdoctoral Fellow- American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellows Program
•Tara McPherson, Associate Professor, University of Southern California- Vectors Institute
•Debra Hess Norris, Henry Francis DuPont Chair of Fine Arts & Chair & Director, Art Conservation Department, University of Delaware
•David J. Skorton, President, Cornell University

The participant registration fee is $75.  The deadline to register for the meeting is February 6, 2011.  A block of rooms at the One Washington Circle Hotel (located near GWU) is currently reserved for participants at the discounted rate of $179 on Sunday, March 6 and $229 on Monday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 8. Please call the hotel directly at (202) 872-1680 to make a reservation for the “National Humanities Alliance” rate before February 6, 2011.

Please register today and make sure your voice is heard in Washington, DC this March.  Additional information is available on the Alliance’s website.

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