The Oral History Association strongly denounces the recent executive order imposing a travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, and temporarily suspending refugee admissions. As an organization, we reaffirm our fundamental values of respect, empowerment, diversity, dialogue, engagement, inclusion, and the free exchange of ideas, all of which the travel ban makes more difficult. We reject rhetoric of hate, division, exclusion, and discrimination.
The Oral History Association is a national and international organization comprised of over 700 members dedicated to the practice and preservation of oral history as a way to foster greater historical understanding. Many of the most important historical stories are those firsthand experiences of immigrants and refugees, representing personal stories of crises, political upheaval, migration, and opportunity. The implementation of this executive order is a blatant expression of intolerance and discrimination, and the Oral History Association rejects all forms of discrimination. The implementation of this executive order is contradictory to our core values and will profoundly inhibit cross cultural dialogue and engagement, teaching and learning, as well as profoundly impact research and open scholarly discourse on a global scale.
We take this opportunity to urge policy makers to reject discriminatory policies and focus on unity and balance. Reaffirming our Statement on Diversity and Inclusivity, the Oral History Association will continue to strengthen our commitment to uphold our core principles and values and continue to welcome diverse individuals and communities into our Association and at its meetings, activities, and collaborations.