This Task Force will make recommendations to the Board concerning the current guidance on the nature and types of issues on which it is appropriate for the AAA to take public policy positions, a template or guide to AAA statement formats, the organizational voice with which AAA addresses the membership and wider public, the roles and responsibilities of Sections, the structure and functions of the Rapid Response Network (RRN) or equivalent group, how best to respond to requests to endorse statements originated by allied organizations where there is little or no chance of modifying the language of the statement, and other related matters.
Duration of Committee
18 months ending October 31, 2023
Committee Reports to
AAA Executive Board
This Task Force is authorized to take its investigations into whatever areas it believes appropriate, but it will be generally guided by the questions listed below:
- How can this process be made more inclusive, given that the President and Executive Director are the only positions authorized to speak on behalf of the Association? What are the implications for Sections wishing to issue their own statements without Association-wide endorsement?
- AAA’s current guidance is that for the Association to take a public position on an issue, the issue is expected to be one of public policy (a) for which there is a consensus in the anthropological literature, or (b) is related to matters concerning the well-being of the discipline and the profession. What modifications, if any, are needed to this guidance?
- What roles and responsibilities should be assigned to the RRN, and what resources are required for the RRN to effectively carry out these recommended roles and responsibilities?
- How might Sections and the membership at large be better included and consulted in this process? What kind of support do Sections need to more fully participate in AAA procedures? How can we bring the Sections’ and AAA’s public policy work into alignment?
- AAA’s current guidance is that when the AAA takes a public position, it will be addressed to an organization or agency that can do something about resolving the issue, and it will offer concrete ways in which we can help. What modifications, if any, are needed to this guidance?
- AAA is often presented with an opportunity to sign the Association’s name in endorsing statements made by allied groups. This usually means there is little or no chance to change the language of the statement. What guidance is needed regarding circumstances under which we would endorse such statements?
- AAA often must formulate statements in response to rapidly unfolding events. What changes in our current vetting process are required to ensure a timely response on the Association’s behalf?
Membership and Appointment
Report to the Executive Board with the following:
- Provide guidance on the nature and types of issues on which it is appropriate for the AAA and Sections to take public policy positions, provide a guide for statement formats
- Define the role of RRN (or equivalent group)
- How best to respond to requests to endorse statements originated by allied organizations where there is little or no chance of modifying the language of the statement
- Other related matters as appropriate
Meetings and Schedule
Monthly Virtual meetings and others as appropriate
Kim Baker, Organizational Governance Manager
American Anthropological Association, 2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 1301, Arlington, VA 22201, Phone: (703) 528-1902, Fax: (703) 528-3546