ASA Advocacy Policy

At their 2015 Fall Board Meeting, the ASA Board of Directors approved the following policy, which will direct the ASA's involvement in advocacy efforts.

The ASA engages in advocacy to raise general awareness about the field of African Studies, to ensure the continued funding and support of African Studies within institutes of Higher Education, and to address ethical, academic freedom, and human rights issues relevant to the field.

The ASA achieves its advocacy agenda through the issuance of position statements and letters to officials, participation in coalitions such as ACLS and the Council for International Education, and outreach to media.

The ASA core advocacy agenda is defined through the following:
1) The “Ethical Conduct Guidelines” adopted by the Board of Directors on June 23, 2015 
2) The ASA Policy Statement Concerning Academic Freedom
3) The ASA Policy Statement Concerning Human Rights 

The ASA will advocate and release formal statements only on issues that directly relate to one of these three policies and which are directly relevant to the field of African Studies.

The decision to issue advocacy statements will be at the discretion of the ASA Board, represented by the ASA Executive Committee when the Board is unable to convene. The ASA Secretariat may also draft policy statements from time to time and bring these to the Board for approval by electronic vote. In order to ensure the timely response to emerging issues, all advocacy statement will be approved via an email vote with non-response within the 48 hour window considered to be consent with the issuance of the statement.

Requests for the ASA to engage in advocacy can be generated by ASA members for consideration by the Association’s leadership. All requests for advocacy should be sent to the ASA Executive Director who will coordinate with the Board of Directors to evaluate the potential for advocacy. Moreover, the ASA by-laws allow for members to bring a specific issue to vote by the full ASA membership by presenting a petition signed by 100 ASA members in support of an issue.