The Member’s Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee (MPAAC) accomplished a number of important projects in 2021, which will impact not only our organization and its members, but the field in general. These included:
● The creation of a new Anthropolicy Twitter account to enhance the participation of anthropologists in public policy and the visibility of the contributions made by anthropologists. The account will develop research capacities, identify the policy implications of anthropological scholarship, amplify methodological and empirical understandings, and promote scholarly and advocacy work in different policy spheres.
● The convening of a working group by the gender equity and labor seats that drafted Guidelines for Mitigating the Uneven Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Faculty, a set of best practices that addresses a number of “uneven and potentially long-term effects” of the pandemic, including expanding categories that count toward tenure or promotion, and reinstating salary increases following a successful tenure review. The working group also held a special town hall to discuss the guidelines.
● The participation of the committee’s practicing and policy seats in the Task Force on Anthropology in Practice Settings, which is charged with identifying and recommending ways in which AAA can “increase engagement on the part of anthropologists working in business, government, and nonprofit settings.”
● The co-organizing by the student seats of a “Student Lead Town Hall for a More Inclusive AAA” with Executive Board Student Representative Judith Williams, so members could share their thoughts and ideas about the future of the AAA.
● The establishment of the first MPAAC internship in partnership with Carleton College.
● The organizing of topical sessions at this year’s AAA Annual Meeting, which included: “Open Future for the AAAs: MPAAC-Sponsored Roundtable for Sustainable Open Access Publishing”; “Roundtable on Ethics in Peer Review and Publishing”; “Anthropological Engagements with Policing, Part 1: Legacies and Challenges”; “Anthropological Engagements with Policing, Part 2: Working to Imagine Solutions.”
The committee also welcomed incoming AAA President-Elect Whitney Battle-Baptiste (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) as a cochair of MPAAC, Jennifer Burrell (University at Albany) in the human rights seat, Molly Sirota (sr. UX research manager, PlayStation) in the practicing/professional seat, Rachel Hall-Clifford (Emory University) in the gender equity seat, Deepa Das Acevedo (University of Alabama) in the labor seat, Jessica Keller (University of North Texas) in the student seat, and Ken Anderson (INTEL Corporation) in the practicing/professional seat.
We encourage members to reach out to us. Learn about who we are by visiting the MPAAC committee page. Contact us with ideas and issues, whether about the discipline itself or developments that concern us as anthropologists.
Cite as: Member’s Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee. 2021. MPAAC Year-End Review.” Anthropology News website, December 14, 2021.