The American Humanist Association (AHA) Board of Directors brought 2019 to a close with one of the largest policy expansions in our organization’s seventy-nine-year history by passing four historic resolutions. This momentous assertion of our values was no small feat—incorporating feedback from impacted communities, organizations that already lead in these areas, and from our fellow humanists. Resolutions enable us to directly address the most pressing issues facing our country.
Coupled with this expansion, we are launching a new and more robust grassroots advocacy hub that provides humanists across the country with information and real-time updates about bills and regulations at the state and federal levels, along with and the tools to make your opinion heard by elected officials or regulatory bodies quickly and easily. Visit our Humanist Action Headquarters to stay up to date on our activism and get involved in the issues we’ve prioritized.
Here’s a snapshot of AHA’s newly adopted resolutions that we are already putting to action:
Resolution on Immigration
This resolution necessarily begins by recognizing the role of the United States in fueling the crises that lead to forced migration and affirms that US immigration policies must be accountable to Indigenous communities. From there, we call for immigration debate and policy to focus primarily on the humanity of refugees and migrants. We support immigration policies “based on human need and human interest that are inclusive of:
- a path to citizenship for undocumented persons who reside within the United States;
- just judicial proceedings for immigrants charged with crimes, including access to legal counsel, due process, and detention only as deemed necessary for public safety
- generous but sustainable immigrant and refugee quotas;
- restructuring of our immigration enforcement system to put human dignity first;
- decriminalization of undocumented border crossings or visa overstays;
- labor protections for seasonal migrants; and
- standards for independent oversight of the entities that enforce our immigration policy.
The full text of the resolution can be read here.
Resolution on White Supremacy
White supremacy has its tentacles wrapped around every facet of our society and, as such, our 2019 resolution on white supremacy adds a wide variety of anti-racist positions to our policy platform. These include simple but necessary assertions that “all lives will matter when Black lives matter” and that “racial colorblindness is detrimental to alleviating racial injustices.” We call for corrective federal policies to eradicate the racial wealth gap and for reparations to be given to the descendants of people enslaved in the United States. The resolution also specifically addresses education, healthcare, research, hate crimes, and ending the war on drugs. The full text of the resolution is here.
Resolution on Benefit Corporations
Holding corporations accountable to stakeholders beyond their shareholders undoubtedly benefits human interest and our environment. Thus, this resolution affirms that the standard operating procedure of corporations to maximize profits is an “impediment to the creation of a long-term, sustainable economic system because the pure profit motive can make it morally excusable for such corporations to externalize as many of the negative consequences of their behavior on society and the environment as is legally permissible.” We call for corporations to act as “responsible, global participants” and to expand corporate leaders’ fiduciary responsibilities to include the impacts of their behavior on employees, vendors and suppliers, the communities, and the natural environment. Read the full text of the resolution here.
Resolution on Environmentalism
To supplement and advance the positions laid out in our 2018 resolution on climate change, AHA’s board passed this resolution to take strong stances on the importance of plant-based diets, independent environmental impact assessments, and upgrading and retrofitting our transportation infrastructure to better support energy-efficient vehicles, high-speed rail, and other green public transit. More generally but no less rigorously, the resolution calls for a multi-national economic and regulatory transition to a green economy that eliminates fossil-fuel subsidies and requires businesses to finally bear the true cost of any environmental externalities for which they are responsible. The full text of the resolution can be read here.
“These resolutions are based on the American Humanist Association’s recognition that change is needed,” notes AHA Board Member Ellen Sutliff, who chaired the resolutions committee. “We all should work to help eliminate these serious social justice issues.”