We know that members continue to navigate the global health pandemic in myriad ways, including caring for loved ones, waiting for vaccination approval for children under five, returning or continuing teaching in-person, returning to in-person researching, and more. For many of us, the opportunity to re-connect with each other in person has been important for our wellness. The success of the ASHE conference in Puerto Rico and that of ACPA, AEFP, CSCC, and other associations more recently are a testament to the importance of human connection.
We all also continue to navigate not only the COVID-19 pandemic but also the ills that have long plagued our society. From the "great resignation" within higher education to the racist and transphobic bills being introduced in state capitals across the country, the dehumanization of so many of us and especially those of us with intersecting oppressed identities is important to name here.
Further, we continue to witness violence and injustice happening all around us. The war in Ukraine is leaving millions of families and people without food, clean water, and medical care and fleeing to save their lives. In addition, the confirmation hearing of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first African American woman to be nominated to the United States Supreme Court, sparked joy in many ways but was also clouded by dehumanization and disdain.
As the 2022 theme, Humanizing Higher Education, alludes to, we have work to do within higher education. We hope that this year leading up to the conference in November, we can think collectively about what it means to humanize higher education through research, policy, and practice.
We know many of you are working on your conference proposals (or soon will be). We want to thank the 229 ASHE members who engaged with the NCFDD-ASHE Writing Challenge over the past few weeks. We are happy to share that we will repeat the challenge in the fall as you prepare final papers for the conference. As you continue or begin your proposal, we encourage you to consider how your research humanizes people. While a connection to the theme is not a requirement for proposals submissions, nor is it a part of the proposal review rubric (and as is made clear in the call for proposals), our collective work has the ability to recenter people (e.g., students, faculty, staff, and our communities) in our work.