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It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button. The deadline to vote is May 31st at 5pm ET.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Human Rights Undesignated Seat #8: Nicholas Copeland and Alayne Unterberger.

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.

 

Nicholas Copeland

Copeland_NickAs an anthropologist and activist, I am attuned to the politics and anti-politics of human rights in the neoliberal present. I have studied how the violence and exploitation built into liberal socio-economic orders and corporate business models are lived by rural Mayas and Wal-Mart employees, and how communities and activists creatively appropriate human rights discourse to press political demands, articulate distinctive conceptions of justice, valorize radical difference, and imagine alternate futures. I also investigate how states and other sovereigns selectively deploy human rights discourses to justify imperial interventions, pursue profit, manage critique, and to discredit and disperse dissent, and how these strategies create trade offs between individual and political rights on the one hand, and collective and material rights on the other. In my scholarship, activism, and instruction, I affirm a vision of human rights fundamentally incompatible with routinized inequality and material deprivation and emphasize connections between structural and political violence. I believe anthropologists can and should take a prominent role in public debates about human rights. Anthropological methods and analysis are uniquely suited to show connections between diverse struggles for rights and to contextualize conflicting rights claims by illuminating their histories, ethical foundations, and often very contradictory political effects.

Alayne Unterberger

Unterberger_AlayneMy platform rests on the importance that anthropology, especially applied and practicing anthropological projects, can and should play in protecting human rights. Human rights are fundamental to civil society, yet all too often anthropologists stand witness to flagrant human rights violations that include abuses such as sexual and human trafficking, wage theft/economic abuse, physical and emotional abuse. These violations happen in the US and not just in far-away lands as is often depicted in the media. As such, anthropologists have the unique responsibility, and power, to not only highlight such abuses but also their causes, consequences and prevention. As a member of the Committee for Human Rights (Undesignated Seat #8), I propose a two-fold approach to enhancing our contributions to human rights. First, I would highlight the important contributions of fellow anthropologists and how their work – often in collaboration with non-anthropologists – results in strengthening human rights, locally and globally. Secondly, since I have learned that most of my undergraduate students do not know about the UN Declaration on Human Rights, or what is protected therein, I feel that this committee is poised to take a lead in expanding students’ knowledge and appreciation for human rights as a matter of basic local and global humanitarianism and scholarship.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button. The deadline to vote is May 31st at 5pm ET.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Human Rights Undesignated Seat #6: Jennifer L. Burrell and David Fazzino.

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.

 

Jennifer L. Burrell

Although anthropology’s relationship to human rights has historically been characterized by numerous tensions, our discipline is, at the same time, uniquely situated to understand those differences, to surmount them, and to advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights to larger publics. I bring a mixture of applied and conceptual experiences to the AAA’s Committee for Human Rights, including years of consultancy with the Argentine Forensic Anthropology team, advocacy for women’s and indigenous rights, decades of solidarity with Central America and interventions to human rights scholarship. I look forward to contributing the insights gleaned through these experiences to the AAA, to building coalitions with locally-based and international NGOs and human rights organizations, and to working with fellow CfHR committee members to effectively educate the AAA at large with regard to global rights situations and our ability to respond to them effectively.

David Fazzino

I am interested in food and energy systems sustainability with a background in anthropology, law and agroecology. My work in food systems includes the right to traditional foods in State and international policy with case studies in Arizona and Alaska. My work in energy systems incudes examination of biofuel development, the heat or eat crisis in Alaska and the role of nuclear power in Ukraine’s energy future. While in law school I examined agriculture law, environmental law, and intellectual property rights to see the extent to which these aligned with international human and indigenous rights law and policy. Development has been broadly associated with a number of projects designed to advance the human condition, through careful consideration of development interventions, primarily in the context of food and energy development, I work to illustrate the unintended impacts of development, including those which run counter to contemporary understandings of human rights. I intend on working with other members of the AAA’s Committee for Human Rights to advance understandings of human rights issues for differently situated individuals, and provide direction in appropriate responses to violations amongst members of the AAA.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button. The deadline to vote is May 31st at 5pm ET.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Human Rights Undesignated Seat #1: Merrill Singer and Betsy Taylor.

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.

 

Merrill Singer

Singer_MerillSeeking election to the Committee on Human Rights reflects my long-term involvement in research, teaching, writing and engagement in issues of social inequality and health. As a staff member of the Hispanic Health Council, a community-based research and direct service institution focused on health inequalities, the right to health (i.e., access to the resources needed to sustain wellbeing) was a core principle of our work. Consequently, we examined the structural causes of illness and sought to provide evidence that could inform rights-based struggles for improved health. This theme is reflected also in my publications, such as Drugs and Development: Global Impact on Sustainable Growth and Human Rights (Waveland 2009), Unhealthy Health Policy: A Critical Anthropological Examination (edited with Arachu Castro, Altamira Press, 2004), and The War Machine and Global Health (edited with Derrick Hodge, Roman-Littlefield, 2010). Currently, I serve on the Research on Global Health and Human Rights committee, of the Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut. As a member of the Committee on Human Rights, I will support efforts to promote anthropological engagement with global human rights discourse, threats to human rights and justice, and debates about human rights versus alternative approaches to expanded social equity.

Betsy Taylor

Taylor_BetsyMy human rights work is grounded in decades of ethnographic and collaborative research with environmental and social justice movements in regions affected by extractive industry – particularly Central Appalachia and tribal communities in Northeast India. Universalizing rights discourses, I believe, need continual regrounding within substantive justice struggles, grounded in political ecological particularities and cultural contexts. I am collaborating with grassroots networks to conduct participatory action research that draws on international law and human rights discourses, for ‘bottom-up’ policy-making for transition from extraction-dependent regional economies (primarily coal and timber). A year ago, the Secretary of the US Dept of Interior appointed me to the steering committee of the US Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. My recent research particularly focuses on emerging cross-regional dialogues in bottom-up policy in land rights, and community-based management of commons, including efforts to develop ‘community protocols’ to integrate customary law into national and international law. I have worked for three years, with the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee of the Society for Applied Anthropology. I believe that anthropology can play a unique and crucial role in national and international human rights circles – especially around questions of climate justice.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

It’s time to vote in the 2013 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button.

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.

Audrey Cooper

Audrey CooperAs 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.

Tricia Gabany-Guerrero

Tricia Gabany-GuerreroI 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.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

It’s time to vote in the 2013 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Today’s feature are the candidates for undesignated seat #5 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.

K. Anne Pyburn

K Ann Pyburn I am interested in serving on this committee because I have an academic interest in the relationship between heritage and human rights and would like to encourage more of my peers with an interest in heritage to move from postcolonial critique to political activism. As a student of research ethics, economic development and cultural property I am aware of the potential for good intentions to inspire neocolonialism and familiar with the often spectacular failures of top-down development programs. But it seems to me that the remedy for these errors as well as the impetus toward activism lies in anthropology and that it is unfortunate that our professional reticence has allowed programs and policies to be set without the benefit of anthropology. As a member of this committee I would work to raise awareness of human rights issues, which is the committee charge, but would emphasize reasoned consideration of strategies that have been or might be successful in addressing human rights violations. I would also promote discussion and debate through forums and workshops about the meaning of activism within the several subfields of anthropology and the responsibility entailed in the privilege of being an anthropologist.

Jeanne Simonelli

Jeanne SimonelliWorking for human rights means working for the rights of all: women, men and communities in the broadest sense.  Civil rights, economic and environmental justice, rights to land and life are all part of this package.  There is little about anthropology, and of all of its subdiscipines that doesn’t touch on, provide evidence for, or help unravel the puzzle of human existence, contributing to the application of anthropological perspectives in active support of human rights issues.  As an applied cultural anthropologist, I have worked with this directly, in Chiapas, Mexico with the Zapatistas, where human rights violations are identifiable and vivid.  Closer to home, work in Canyon de Chelly has emphasized the right of the Dine (Navajo) to land and culture.  More recently, I am involved with the battle for ‘civil fracking rights,’ as New Yorkers and others fight for home rule and the ability to maintain their lives and environment.  As a member of the AAA Human Rights committee, I will work to make sure anthropological knowledge informs and influences policy surrounding all dimensions of the struggle for human rights.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

It’s time to vote in the 2013 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Today’s feature are the candidates for undesignated seat #4 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.

Elijah Edelman

Elijah Edelman As a member of the committee for Human Rights, I feel I have a specific knowledge set that traditional Anthropology often ignores (that of US-based human right’s issues) as well as the skills to render this knowledge productive through modalities of education, community collaboration and communication across the discipline.

As a public anthropologist studying the impacts of transphobia, homophobia, classism, sexism and racism in Washington, DC, I have had the opportunity to engage structural human rights abuses as they are expressed through a multitude of contexts. This research, importantly, has been primarily conducted through community-based research methods.  I have utilized this material to conduct trainings for other social science researchers as well as community members. Finally, I have participated in number of trainings and information sharing sessions, as well as the creation of multiple ‘best practices’ documents, with government officials, non-governmental agencies and direct service providers. Finally, as a means to render this research and community work productive, I have met directly with agencies of the DC city government, including the Office of Human Rights, the Department of Corrections and the Office of the Attorney General to provide necessary trainings and education on the importance and specificity of gender-related issues.

Rebekah Park

Rebekah ParkI have been an AAA member since 2006 and am seeking a seat on the CfHR to promote critical dialogue and research on human rights within the AAA. Specifically, I am interested in facilitating conversations on the future of the human rights movement and the role anthropologists can play in the promotion of human rights. Recently, I organized two AAA panels on transitional justice, seeking to increase anthropological engagement with the legacies of human rights abuses.  Over the past decade, I have worked to fight poverty, hunger, and racism in the U.S., both as a grassroots organizer at Washington Citizen Action, and as a research associate at the Poverty & Race Research Council and the African American Policy Forum.  Previously, I worked with Amnesty International’s Medical Examination Group in the Netherlands to assist asylum seekers gain refuge there. My current research focuses on the Argentine human rights movement and former political prisoners. If nominated, I will focus on raising the visibility of anthropology as a discipline that engages with human rights challenges around the world.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

Anthropologist Receives Major Award for Human Rights Activism

On May 13, 2012, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives will present the Second ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism, in the amount of $100,000, to Fredy Peccerelli, Executive Director of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation, and Kate Doyle, Senior Analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America at the National Security Archive.  The award ceremony will take place at the Museum of the City of New York.

“Both Doyle and Peccerelli are indefatigable defenders of human rights who have played a seminal role in the fight against impunity in Latin America,” said Sebastiaan Faber, Chair of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA).

A determined and creative researcher-activist, Doyle has spent twenty years working tirelessly with Latin American human rights organizations and truth commissions – in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Peru- to obtain the declassification of U.S. government archives in support of their investigations.

Peccerelli is an innovative forensic anthropologist whose work has been instrumental to the first-ever conviction of Guatemalan military forces for crimes against humanity.  As founding director of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG), Peccerelli leads a team that, over the past fifteen years, has exhumed hundreds of mass graves filled with victims of Guatemala’s civil war.

The ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism, one of the largest human rights awards in the world, is granted annually by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation.

“The award is designed,” said Puffin Foundation President Perry Rosenstein, “to give public recognition, support, and encouragement to individuals or groups whose work has an exceptionally positive impact on the advancement and/or defense of human rights.  It is intended to help educate students and the general public about the importance of defending human rights against arbitrary powers that violate democratic principles.”

The ALBA/Puffin Award is part of a program connecting the inspiring legacy of the International Brigades – the 40,000 volunteers who helped fight fascism during the Spanish Civil War – to international activist causes of today.  Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón received the first ALBA/Puffin Award in May 2011.

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