We know that the AHA and our counterparts in other disciplines might seem like the proverbial “boy who cried wolf” in our frequent pleas to stave off cuts to humanities funding. The problem is that many members of Congress do seem to relish the idea of taking every opportunity possible to gut the already marginal budgets of federal agencies that provide resources to teaching, research, and public programming in the humanities. So we ask once again that you contact your representatives in both the House and the Senate.
Yes, budgets are tight everywhere, so even the very tiny sums involved here can evoke some concern about deficits and fiscal responsibility. Moreover, we are indeed asking the taxpayers to fund “what we do” — but “we” include many librarians, community college teachers, and others who provide skilled services to the public, often for little pay. The AHA firmly believes that what we and our colleagues in other humanities disciplines do is important to civic culture, global economic competitiveness, national security, and perhaps even individual “pursuit of happiness” for millions of Americans. Our members will variously agree or disagree with the invocation of any of these four imperatives. But we are confident that each of them will resonate among a substantial proportion of historians and others who consider an understanding of the past to be interesting, important, and perhaps even imperative. We are among those who subscribe to “imperative.” We hope you are as well.
—Kenneth Pomeranz, President and Jim Grossman, Executive Director
Yesterday, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee considered a 49 percent ($71 million) cut to the National Endowment for the Humanities. We must act now to make our voices heard and prevent these devastating cuts from being enacted. Please send messages to your elected officials today by clicking this link.
If you sent a message last week, please send this new message to both your Senators and Representatives. Click here to learn about six steps that you can take to oppose these cuts and preserve the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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