By Sarah Jencks, Partner, History Co:Lab and Jennifer Ortiz, Director, Utah Division of History

We are thrilled to gather this fall and have the opportunity to connect with one another again in person.

As co-chairs of the Annual Conference, we worked hard to cultivate a program that holds space for critical, field-wide conversations impacting the successes of our everyday work, in addition to developing a program that allows for attendees to interact organically with others at the conference in ways online programming does not readily allow.

Our hope is that every conference attendee feels empowered to share their work with us, dive into topics that challenge our working lives, see value in our collective efforts across the field, and leaves feeling a renewed sense of commitment to the history sector.

We recognize while you may not remember exact details of content from the conference twenty years from now, you will remember how the conference made you feel. As co-chairs, our work is rooted in making sure we facilitate and present content that will make you feel something—excitement, joy, optimism—and funnel negative or challenging feelings into actionable efforts to help move our sector’s needle forward. Because that is what gathering together means for us: collective brainpower and ideation to help make the history field better than when we entered.

Our conference theme Right Here, Right Now: The Power of Place is relevant not only to our location in Buffalo, in western New York, and on unceded land of the Haudenosaunee people. It also speaks to our being together, Right Here, Right Now, in community with one another, and able to work on projects in-person that we may have been conducting virtually for the last two years.

So, whether you are new to AASLH Annual Conferences, or they are old hat to you, we hope you will find opportunities throughout our days together to savor in-person moments, whether serendipitous or scheduled. Let’s celebrate being together, Right Here, Right Now!

Lastly, we have reserved time during the conference for a Town Hall to discuss as a community the fact that we have, over the past few years, become more visible and more highly relevant than we could have imagined, and it has forced many of us to think about advocacy and communication in new ways. The Historical Thinking Under Fire Town Hall will be held on Thursday, September 15 at 4:15 p.m.

As we learn together to thread the proverbial needle in public communications and programs in a highly polarized environment, let’s remember coming together can provide us with the restoration, inspiration, and specific skills to speak to this global and national moment.

We invite you to join us at this year’s Annual Conference. You can learn more about the conference here, including the preliminary program.