Advocacy

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When does LSA take public positions?


LSA considers taking public positions when issues fall within one or both of the following domains: 
  • When there is a consensus within the linguistic scientific literature that points to a particular policy approach or assessment of a public concern.
  • When a policy or public concern relates to the well-being of Linguistics as a discipline or profession.
LSA public positions may take one of three forms: resolutions, statements, and endorsements. Resolutions must first be approved by the Executive Committee and then submitted to the full LSA membership for approval by vote. Statements are public positions for which the LSA is the first author and require approval by the Executive Committee. Endorsements are public positions that originate with other organizations and to which LSA becomes a signatory or supporter by vote of the Executive Committee. 

The procedures for determining if LSA will take a public position are as follows: 
  • If an issue arises that is not time-sensitive, the Executive Committee will vote on it. Statements and endorsements can be approved by the Executive Committee. Resolutions require approval by the Executive Committee, followed by ballot approval by the full membership. 
  • If an issue arises that is time sensitive, and for which a statement or endorsement is desired, the officers of the Executive Committee (president, vice president, immediate past president and secretary treasurer) may consult with appropriate committees or advisors, and then if three of the four are in agreement, approve a public position on behalf of the Executive Committee. For the purposes of this policy, a time-sensitive issue is defined as one for which there is a deadline for consideration of one month or less.
This policy was adopted by the LSA Executive Committee on May 6, 2023
 

Recent advocacy efforts

Resolutions 

  • Resolution opposing use of Native American-themed mascots in sports. (February 2015)
  • Resolution on U.S. Government Action to Support the Preservation and Revitalization of Native American Languages (April 2011)
  • Resolution on The Arizona Teachers' English Fluency Initiative (August 2010)
  • Resolution on Recognizing the Scholarly Merit of Language Documentation (January 2010)
  • Resolution on Cyberinfrastructure (January 2010)

Statements

  • Statement in Support of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Kent. (February 2024)
  • Statement on legislating pronouns. (November 2023)
  • Statement decrying the elimination of Linguistics as a Field of Knowledge in Spain. (April 2023)
  • Statement in the form of a letter to West Virginia University President and Provost regarding the plan to close the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. (April 2023)
  • Statement on the Scholarly Merit of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (August 2022)
  • Comments on Draft NIDCD Strategic Plan (May 2022)
  • Statement in Support of the People of Ukraine (March 2022)
  • Statement on Indigenous Community Issues (29 June 2021)
  • Natives4Linguistics Special Interest Group's Statement from Indigenous linguists and language scholars on Boarding and Residential Schools (June 2021)
  • Statement Against Linguistic Misgendering (June 2021)
  • Statement on the Scholarly Merit and Evaluation of Open Scholarship in Linguistics (May 2021)
  • Statement on the Importance of Linguistic Expertise in Legal Contexts (April 2021)
  • Statement on Violence and Xenophobia Against Asian-Americans (March 2021)
  • Update on the LSA’s Recent Statement on Intellectual Freedom (July 2020)
  • Statement on our continued campaign in support of Native American Language Revitalization legislation, which was enacted into law. We have now turned our attention to a new legislative priority: establishing the first-ever Native American Language Resource Center. (June 2020)
  • Statement Reaffirming LSA's  Commitment to Intellectual Freedom and Professional Responsibility (June 2020)
  • Statement on Racial Justice in support of widespread protests against systemic racism. (June 2020)
  • Statement on Coronavirus and Its Effects (2020)
  • Statement on the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act (HR.312) (April 2020)
  • Letter calling on the White House to include ASL interpreters on-screen during COVID briefings (March 2020)
  • Statement on The Employment of Part-Time and Temporary Teaching Staff (February 2000)

Endorsements

  • Endorsement of AHA statement decrying the use of police force against peaceful protesters and affirming the importance of academic freedom (May 2024). 
  • Endorsement of statement on the effort to undermine academic freedom in Florida House Bill 999. (April 2023)
  • Endorsement of statement on higher education policies in the state of Florida. (February 2023)
  • Endorsement of statement on Supreme Court decision on race-conscious admissions. (June 2023)
  • Endorsement of statement in support of race-conscious admissions practices at Harvard and the University of North Carolina (August 2022)
  • Endorsement of CNSF letter to lawmakers for R&D funding of NSF for FY2023 (5 November 2021)
  • Endorsement of AHA Statement on Threats to Academic Conferences (September 2021)
  • Endorsement of Scholars At Risk letter urging for aid to Afghanistan’s scholars, students, practitioners, civil society leaders, and activists (August 2021)
  • Endorsement of ACLS Letter to Iowa Lawmakers Opposing Legislation to End Tenure at Public Universities (March 2021)
  • Endorsement of ACLS Statement urging Kansas Board of Regents to uphold employment protections for faculty (January 2021)
  • Endorsement of ACLS Statement on the Humanities, to guard against potential cuts to essential departments and programs across higher education (August 2020)
  • Endorsement of joint statement: COVID-19 and the Key Role of the Humanities and Social Sciences in the United States (13 August 2020)
  • Endorsement of Letter of support for Tashi Wangchuck, a language advocate imprisoned in China (January 2020)
 

Advocacy Archive

To preserve the historical record, older efforts can be found in our Advocacy Archive.  
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