Laptop and notebook open on a table.

By Alex Rasic, Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum and AASLH Council

The pandemic has changed so much for us, both professionally and personally. Many of our colleagues have found themselves laid off or furloughed, reeling from pay cuts and staff reductions, and pondering what the future of their intuitions and the field will look like. Some are feeling motivated and energized to lead change, but others are feeling stunned and uncertain about what to do, feeling very removed from decision-making, and from even knowing what is being discussed about future plans.

If you are still employed, hopefully you are having conversations about what your organization wants and needs to do differently, both now and in the future. There should not simply be a return to normal, but a re-imagining of what normal should be. If you are not currently employed, are furloughed, or not in a position of power in your institution, your behaviors, practice, and action can still make for positive change. Connecting with other colleagues can help now more than ever in exposing you to new ideas, providing models for how to move forward, and keeping you sane.

The timing of AASLH’s Annual Meeting couldn’t be better.

Many of us are feeling tired and fatigued from months of the pandemic and we can all use a few doses of hope and inspiration.

Because AASLH has experimented with versions of virtual Annual Meetings for quite a few years, the staff was able to double down (Vegas pun intended!) on the technology and creativity needed to deliver meaningful and participatory virtual experiences, just like many of our organizations have. They are looking at this meeting as a way to not only continue serving their existing community, but to expand their reach by making the meeting affordable, with full registration for members being $55 and $75 for non-members. Moreover, some sessions and programs are completely free of charge.

Another huge plus for many who are back at work in-person or balancing work with managing remote learning for their children is that you have access to recorded content for six weeks after the meeting. That works out to six plenary talks and forty-seven sessions! If you’ve attended an AASLH Annual Meeting before, you know the quality of sessions and speakers you are in for. If you haven’t, joining us online is no gamble (sorry, I can’t stop!): the experience will be applicable, meaningful, and memorable. Come join your colleagues in exploring the critical question of What Kind of Ancestor Will You Be? We want you to be part of the conversations that will take place.

Alex Rasic is the Programs and Audience Engagement Director at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in City of Industry, California, and serves on the AASLH Council.

Learn more and register for the Annual Meeting here.