The LSA held its first ever Linguistic Advocacy Day as part of the 90th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

Participants in Linguistic Advocacy Day had the opportunity to meet with staff and members of Congress (including those from their home state and district, as scheduling allows) to discuss federal policy issues of relevance to linguists, such as funding for scientific research and support for language revitalization in the U.S.

The day before visiting Capitol Hill, attendees participated in a training and briefing session to learn about the Congressional visit process, how to make your case to Congressional staffers, key talking points, etc. The final visit schedule depended on participation levels and Congressional availability, but most attendees participated in roughly 2-4 meetings in teams of 2 or more. The meetings were scheduled on participants' behalf by LSA staff.

No prior experience with Congressional visits or political advocacy was required, though a background in either is appreciated. Linguistic Advocacy Day was free to participants (excepting any travel costs to/from Capitol Hill); however, because cancellations can have significant scheduling effects, please only register if you can attend. LSA members who are local to the DC area but did not attend the Annual Meeting still participated in Linguistic Advocacy Day.

Two Linguistic Advocacy Days were held, one each before and after the LSA Annual Meeting.

Session 1: January 6-7 (Wed-Thu)

  • Afternoon of January 6 (5-6:30 PM): Training session to be led by LSA Executive Director Alyson Reed
  • Morning of January 7 (roughly 9 AM - 2 PM): Congressional visits in teams on Capitol Hill

Annual Meeting sessions begin at 4 PM Thursday afternoon.

Session 2: January 10-11 (Sun-Mon)

  • Afternoon of January 10 (2-4 PM): Training session to be led by COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus and National Humanities Alliance Executive Director Stephen Kidd
  • Morning of January 11 (roughly 9 AM - 2 PM): Congressional visits in teams on Capitol Hill

Thanks for helping to bring linguistics to policymakers in our nation's capital!

For those who are unable to attend but are interested in becoming more involved in linguistics and public policy issues, please consider joining the LSA Public Policy Committee, subscribing to the LSA's policy news distribution list, or submitting a paper to the Language and Public Policy section of Language.