In this article adapted from his address during the Meeting of the Membership at the 2015 Annual Meeting, AASLH President and CEO John Dichtl discusses the importance of history to our ever-changing culture, and the ways history organizations can serve the diverse needs of their communities.

People are engaging with history as never before as Americans publicly debate about the symbols of the past and their impact on the present. This historical moment represents an opportunity for us to engage with audiences as trusted and impartial sources, and to provide safe spaces for debate, reflection, and consideration of differences.

John also outlines AASLH’s priorities for the 75th anniversary year, and several members offer their memories of engagement and enrichment through the organization.