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This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.
Today’s feature are the candidates for undesignated seat #7 of the Committee for Human Rights (CfHR). Responsibilities of the committee members include:
- To assist in organizing human rights forum, sessions, workshops or other events at AAA Annual Meeting;
- To consider and respond to cases of alleged human rights abuse;
- To educate anthropologists on human rights;
- To educate policy makers and others outside of anthropology on anthropology’s perspective and contributions to human rights;
- To work in coalition with other professional and human rights organizations to promote human rights.
Click here to learn more about the Committee for Human Rights.
As a linguistic anthropologist interested in connections between language usage, social policy, and language-centered social change/movements, I am drawn to serve on the committee for human rights because I believe this committee to be a vital forum for establishing a model for language rights both within the organization, and the field as a whole. Conducting research with signed language users in the United States and southern Vietnam, I am particularly interested in the ways that the latter are marked according to body (not linguistic) statuses, as well as how body practices are disciplined and regulated according to normative social, political, and economic hierarchies produced within specific locales, national contexts, and transnational arrangements. Social “inclusion” of deaf persons is among the “hot” terrains now garnering global human rights attention. Yet the perspectives of signed language users is rarely represented; rarer still are they used to problematize disability inclusion policies, among other human rights-related concerns. As a member of this committee I believe I would contribute a perspective on language that promotes not only critical parsing of relevant issues, including how we talk about rights and the impacts of assumptions grounded in those forms of talk, but ways of addressing material concerns through everyday communication.
I will work to bring the voice of the American Anthropological Association to the forefront of contemporary and heritage human rights issues at national and international levels. I believe that I can contribute to the committee because of my volunteer and professional experiences with human rights and other non-governmental organizations in the U.S. and Latin America. I also have experience working with congressional offices that resulted in successful legislation on human rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. My research and field experience includes working for indigenous organizations in Mexico.
I believe that the AAA needs to create a critical advocacy and policy presence that informs the public and policymakers with research-based evidence regarding human rights issues around the globe. In my opinion, anthropologists in advocacy, research and education should be incorporated in initiatives that are brought before the AAA for action. My hope is that I can serve the membership of the AAA, but more than that, serve the goals of the organization to advocate for human rights where our voices are most needed.
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