Support OAH Operations
At the OAH, we depend on the generous support of friends of history like you to uphold our mission. Annual donations are vital to sustaining our operations and ensuring that work can continue. By making an annual contribution, you also help us to advocate for history and the historical profession, and to deliver essential programs and services to our community of historians and the broader public. We encourage you to support the OAH.
2023 Annual Appeal Letter
May 10, 2023
A few weeks ago, almost 1,500 of us came together in Los Angeles for the 2023 OAH Conference on American History. Over the course of four exhilarating and empowering days, you shared the best recent scholarship in our field, centered around the theme of “Confronting Crises: History for Uncertain Times.” Erika Lee capped off her incredible year as OAH President on Saturday evening with a powerful talk on the 1871 massacre of 18 Chinese men in Los Angeles. On Sunday at an event held at the Japanese American National Museum, we honored the legacy of former OAH President Gary Nash with a panel titled “History on Trial: An American History Forum with Educators.” In these special events and in over 150 excellent panels, the vibrancy of our community of historians was on full display.
We all know too well the timeliness of the 2023 theme of Confronting Crises. Over the last several years, we have witnessed a movement to obscure stories that historians have long worked to illuminate. Our charge has always been to reveal the unknown parts of our collective story. Now, revealing those stories is not enough. Now, we find that we must also fight to keep visible that which opponents of history actively seek to eliminate. We must collectively advocate for accurate history and push back against threats to academic freedom that are proliferating across the country. In the last year, we denounced the decision made by the Florida Department of Education to reject the College Board’s Advanced Placement course on African American Studies in the state’s high schools. With our partner associations, we opposed the Supreme Court’s misreading of history in their Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned Roe. We cosponsored an amicus curiae brief in the Haaland v. Brackeen case, applauded Colorado’s decision to implement inclusive social studies standards, and updated our Contingent Faculty Standards of Employment and Bill of Rights.
With these challenges in front of us we look forward to 2024, where our conference theme in New Orleans will be “Public Dialogue, Relevance & Change: Being in Service to Communities and the Nation.” Our work as historians can often feel solitary, but it is when we come together that we can have our greatest impact. For many of us, the Organization of American Historians has been our entry point to the community of history. Perhaps it was the first professional association you joined, or it was the first conference you attended as an emerging scholar. For generations, the OAH has provided a common space for historians, educators, public servants, activists, and scholars to come together to do the work of history.
Your continued commitment to our organization is needed during what is a transitional period for the OAH. While we maintain the core offerings you know well, we are also undergoing a transformation at the institutional and organizational levels. We are beginning a new phase of strategic planning that will see the OAH continue to evolve into a more visible force to serve our members and our mission in the 21st century. A reorganization and reallocation of staff time has already begun to meet our shared goals.
The OAH depends on your generosity to continue our day-to-day operations, and to build towards this ambitious and necessary evolution. We thank you for sustaining our critical mission and hope that you please consider supporting our work in an amount that is meaningful to you.
Yours as ever,
Anthea M. Hartig, President
Beth English, Executive Director