WAPA Event Archives: 2006-07

Sunday, September 17: Fall Party

Join us for a special Welcome Back Jazz Party. The WAPA 30th year opening event of the year!

WAPA invites all of it's members, as well as their friends and family members to join us in a celebration to begin the 30th year of the oldest professional organization of anthropologists in the United States!

Location: U-topia Restaurant (http://www.utopiaindc.com/)
1418 U Street, NW DC 20009
Side Room

Green Line Metro, U Street stop, 13th street exit, walk straight down U Street. U-topia is located between 14th and 15th on U, directly across the street from the Reeve's Center.

Because WAPA is a leader within the professional anthropological community nationally, but born within the Beltway, we thought it best to celebrate this at a truly DC neighborhood! Once referred to as "Black Broadway", U Street a quintessential DC neighborhood is the home of some of the best jazz music ever to be created in America! This event is FREE to all WAPA member, their family and friends, but donations will be accepted at the door to help defray the costs.

A light buffet will be served (mostly hors d'oeurves, finger foods, etc.) as well as some specialty drinks! There is, of course, a wonderful menu to choose from, and an excellent bar selection at their two cash bars (with some of the best mojitos you'll ever find in DC! YUM!). There will be jazz played throughout the affair, including a live jazz band! Hey, what would a U Street party be without Jazz!

For those of you who are not familiar with the U Street neighborhood, here is a short description from "Cultural Tourism" .com: http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/information2550/information.htm?area=2529

Experience the renaissance of Duke Ellington's neighborhood, the historic heart of the city's African-American community, where name entertainers, black-owned businesses, and grand movie theaters made U Street the place to be. This neighborhood predates New York's Harlem as a mecca for African Americans. Civil War encampments in the area sheltered freedom seekers in the 1860s, and the mission churches they founded live on today. Howard University just north of this neighborhood began to attract the nation's black intellectual and artistic leadership in the 1870s. By the early 20th century, the area was the nerve center of the city's black community, home to businesses and places of entertainment, and the major social institutions of black Washington. Until 1920, when Harlem surpassed it, it was the largest urban African American community in the nation. All the great entertainers played at its lively theaters and clubs. The old timers say that U Street was so grand that to go there, "you had to wear a tie." Duke Ellington is one of many national figures to call this neighborhood home.

Today, with a new subway stop, a resurgence of nightclubs, and the renovation of many of its historic buildings underway, the neighborhood is seeing a renaissance. There are many ways to experience the U St./Shaw Neighborhood. The best way to get an insider's view during the tourist season is to check Tours & Trails for information about walking tours. Year round you can walk the new City Within a City: Greater U Street Heritage Trail. Also, explore our expanded African American Heritage Trail that extends the fascinating history of this neighborhood to the rest of the city.

You should also visit the site below for even more info about U Street!

Tuesday, October 3: Violence & HIV Risk

Speaker: Todd Pierce, Medical Anthropologist

"Research on drug abuse and other HIV risk behaviors conducted by anthropologists and other disciplines has provided insight into a variety of social, cultural, and psychological factors which contribute to our understanding of the nature of the spread of HIV, as well as the means for creating new and innovative intervention models for reducing HIV transmission. During the course of previous research conducted in Washington, D.C. with African American women using heroin and crack cocaine, I collected data which suggests that women who have experienced consistent sexual or physical abuse from childhood into adulthood are at greater risk of non-compliance with HIV risk reduction techniques when engaged in sexual activity, especially when this activity is combined with actual drug use or the sex-for-drug trade. This is a direct result of psychological trauma resulting from childhood sexual molestation and other forms of physical and emotional abuse that they experienced. My current research seeks to investigate the effects sexual, psychological and physical trauma brought on by experiences of violence and abuse, and how said traumas impact individual sexual practices among drug abusing African American women in Washington, D.C. who are also sex workers. My research is specifically conducted amongst women who abuse crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine and addresses how cyclical violence and abuse influence human agency and decision-mAaking abilities, action, and harm reduction of HIV risk behaviors.

"This research focuses upon personal, family, social, and drug-using histories of violence and abuse from the perspective of the participating women involved in the research, as well as current cultural behaviors involving these same cycles. Cultural and psychological dynamics will be identified in regard to sexual activity practices within drug use contexts. More specifically, my current studies investigate the interplay between the self and social networks in relation to drug addiction and violence, in an effort to better understand how violence affects the self and limits human agency, especially in regard to HIV prevention behaviors and sexual practices.

"To study the self in relation to violence, an understanding of the individual's habitus and behavioral practices is of utmost importance. Histories of violence on the personal, family, community, social and drug using network levels must be understood within a framework of network relations in order to fully contextualize their impact on the individual and the self. My research is specifically aimed at understanding the interplay between violence, drug abuse and HIV prevention among African American women in Washington, D.C. who have had a lifelong history as victims of violence and sexual abuse - as well as drug addiction."

Sumner School, 6:45 - 9 p.m.

 Tuesday, November 2006:   No Meeting Scheduled

Due to several scheduling conflicts, including elections and AAA, WAPA is currently not scheduling a meeting in November.

 Tuesday, December 5: Special WAPA 30th Anniversary Celebration

Be sure to join us for the gala 30th anniversary party. Festivities at the Sumner School get underway at 6 p.m. with a reception in the downstairs gallery area. There will be beverages and light dinner fare served, along with anniversary cake! We will then move upstairs by 7:30 to the Great Hall for a special program. The program will recognize the contributions of long time members and look towards WAPA's future. Past president John Mason is slated as the Master of Ceremonies.

WAPA hats and membership information will be available. A small donation will be requested at the door for non-students to help offset costs. WAPA members, friends, the anthropological community and especially students and newly arrived professionals are welcome to attend.

If you would like to help with some aspect of the celebration send a note to the email address below.

This special event will also serve as WAPA's holiday party; If you have not sent an RSVP, please do so in a message to wapamail@yahoo.com.

Sumner School, 6-8:45 p.m.

 Tuesday, January 9 Special "Meet the Authors" Book Event

WAPA presents a Meet the Author event and reception, featuring presentations and book signings by six WAPA members and their colleagues who have published books in the last year: Judith Freidenberg (Memorias de Villa Clara), Judith Hanna (Dancing for Health), Jo Anne Schneider (Social Capital and Welfare Reform), Laurel Schwede, Rae Blumberg and Anna Chan (Complex Ethnic Households in America), Michael Margolis (Wake Me Up When the Data is Over, Lori Silverman editor), and three books authored or co-authored by Emily Vargas-Barón (Planning Policies for Early Childhood Development, From Bullets to Blackboards, Strategic Foreign Assistance). The event celebrates the breadth of new work by applied social scientists living in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Books will be available for purchase.

Book descriptions:

Memorias de Villa Clara ("Memories of Villa Clara"): Judith Freidenberg (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Antropofagia, 2005). The book synthesizes the oral, material, and written histories of Villa Clara to depict the village's unique heritage. Situated in northeastern Argentina , Villa Clara was founded by Jewish colonists brought to the country by the Baron de Hirsch at the end of the 19th century. Freidenberg's ethnographic and ethno-historic studies which form the basis of "Memorias" consider the strong history of other European immigration to Villa Clara later in history, as well as the experiences of the native gauchos. The book is directed towards a general public audience in order to encourage members of the Villa Clara community to reconstruct the village's past. "Memorias," written in Spanish, is available for purchase on Amazon.com; all proceeds from book sales benefit the local Villa Clara Museum.

Dancing for Health: Conquering and Preventing Stress: Judith Lynne Hanna (Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006). Anthropologist Judith Lynne Hanna demonstrates the extraordinary role of dance as a healing art for all kinds of stress. Indeed, to dance in order to resist, reduce, and escape stress is human. Using examples from many different cultures and throughout history, she explains how dance is exercise plus aesthetic communication. While science has shown the mind/body integration and benefits of exercise, Western and non-Western cultures have danced to come to terms with life crises, resolve conflict, revitalize the past, and face the future. Hanna reveals how individuals expel spider venom or shake off death, sin or evil by using the power of dance to cope with stress. She shows how dance-stress connections are played out on theater stages, in the professional dance career, and in amateur dance. Her cases, including her own personal experiences in dance, reveal the potential of dance as a key strategy in the arsenal against stress. This broader cultural perspective is an innovative approach to understanding stress and meaning in dance. Hanna's book will be of great interest to anthropologists, dancers, health researchers, therapists, and others interested in coping with stress and improving their quality of life through dance.

Social Capital and Welfare Reform: Organizations, Congregations and Communities: Jo Anne Schneider (Columbia University Press, 2006). In this groundbreaking study, Jo Anne Schneider considers the reasons behind the limited success of most welfare reform initiatives and offers evidence-based recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of welfare policy. Schneider draws on her rich and nuanced ethnographic studies of Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Kenosha, Wisconsin to clarify the role of social capital for both individuals and institutions. She shows that the social relationships and patterns of trust that enable people to gain access to resources like government services,organization funding, and jobs are crucial in helping families achieve their goals. Schneider examines the complex ways in which social capital functions in conjunction with economic, human, and cultural capital, and explores social capital dynamics among government, nonprofits, and congregations that together provide the welfare support system.

Complex Ethnic Households in America: Laurel Schwede, Rae Lesser Blumberg, Anna Y. Chan. (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers) This lively interdisciplinary book on "complex households" within six U.S. ethnic groups uniquely combines rich ethnographic description conveying the "sights and smells" of fieldwork with theory-linked overviews and Census 2000 data. It explores the interactions of household structure, ethnicity and gender, also illuminating factors affecting formation and dissolution of household types of increasing importance in an America of growing family and ethnic diversity. It is valuable for student and professional anthropologists, sociologists, demographers, research methodologists, policymakers and the general public.

Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over: How Organizations Use Stories to Drive Results: www.wakeupyourcompany.com: Lori L. Silverman, editor, WAPA member Michael Margolis participating author presenting (Jossey_Bass, 2006) Read about real-life examples from over 70 respected organizations small and large, representing a multitude of industries using stories to drive results. Drawing on interviews with 171 public and private sector leaders, this book goes beyond storytelling to reveal five keys to making stories work for you: how to find existing stories, dig into them to uncover hidden patterns and themes, select those stories that need to be reinforced, craft memorable stories, and embody stories to positively impact people's attitudes, thoughts and behaviors. Leaders from organizations such as Microsoft, Lands End, Verizon, U.S. Air Force, and World Vision demonstrate the strong positive influence stories can have. No abstract theories or platitudes are conveyed here. It spells out how Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide of Saatchi and Saatchi, achieved sustained sales growth after several mergers and downsizings caused the organization to fall on hard times. And how Erik Shaw, president and CEO of FivePoint Federal Credit Union, overcame resistance to an organizational name change, resulting in membership growth exceeding the national average.

Emily Vargas-Barón will talk about three books have come out in the last year:  Planning Policies for Early Childhood Development: Guidelines for Action: (UNESCO, UNICEF, Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), 2005 and 2006) These Guidelines provide a Toolkit for planning culturally appropriate early childhood development (ECD) policies or policy frameworks. They represent a unique contribution to the field of ECD policy planning. The Guidelines demonstrate how government planners and institutions of civil society in the fields of health, nutrition, sanitation, education and legal protection can apply an integrated and participatory approach to child survival and development. The book is available in English, French, Spanish, and soon in Russian.The book can be obtained electronically from Emily Vargas-Barón: vargasbaron@hotmail.com. It is being distributed without cost in hard copy by UNICEF and Association for the Development of Education in Africa, International Institute for Educational Planning, 7 - 9 rue Eugene-Delacroix, 75116, Paris, France,adea@iiep.unesco.org, http://www.adeanet.org.

From Bullets to Blackboards: Education for Peace in Latin America and Asia: Editors: Emily Vargas-Barón and Hernando Bernal Alarcón (The Inter-American Development Bank, 2005): For countries torn by war or violence, the stakes for developing education policies and quality programs are high. Effective education is essential to prepare the next generation for a productive life, heal psychological wounds, prevent cyclical violence, and achieve reconstruction and peace. If educational needs are ignored during and after war, prior education systems may be retained and perpetuate conditions leading to more conflict. From Bullets to Blackboards features lessons and case studies learned from 10 exemplary education policies and programs developed in nine Latin American and Asian nations: Cambodia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Peru, the Philippines, and Viet Nam. The book can be obtained from the Inter-American Development Bank or from The RISE Institute for a donation of US$25.00 plus $5.00 for postage and handling. Please send donation checks payable to: The RISE Institute, 3012 Porter Street, N.W., Washington, DC. 20008.

Strategic Foreign Assistance: Civil Society in International Security: Lawrence Chickering, Isobel Coleman, P. Edward Haley and Emily Vargas-Barón (Hoover Institution Press, 2006). The emergence of significant numbers of violent non-state actors has created a new reality in national and international security. To respond to this new reality, the authors recommend that governments and peoples come together to encourage economic, political, legal, and social development within weak societies in which terrorists take refuge and to assist deadlocked governments to overcome the explosive legacies of religious and ethnic conflict. In Strategic Foreign Assistance the authors show that, to do this, the United States must develop a strategic international cooperation and assistance policy that fosters strong civil societies. The book can be obtained from the Hoover Institution Press or at a discount from Amazon.com.

Sumner School, 6-8:45 p.m.

 Tuesday, February 6: Ethnographic Thoughts on the Invisibility of the Chronically Ill

The first-hand experience of longtime WAPA member Connie Ojile is shared widely throughout the US; coping and battling with the American health care system that is fragmented, unresponsive, impersonal, and downright dysfunction much of the time. Connie has the perspective of an anthropologist, but remains the subject of this presentation as well. In this interactive session she shares her experiences in the system, her long-time strategies for making the best of it, and gives WAPA members a glimpse of her struggle against invisibility in the process.

Connie Ojile got her degrees in cultural anthropology and women's studies from the University of Michigan. She taught anthropology for the University of Maryland overseas and in College Park. Her work in professional anthropology has centered on the effects of change in small organizations. She developed intercultural training workshops from an anthropologist's perspective, and was among the first to promote this connection to fellow anthropologist and potential clients. She worked extensively in government and private sector organizations using ethnographic skills to facilitate team building, strategic planning, and problem solving sessions. Her latest strategic planning project was with the staff and executive board of Signature Theater in Arlington, VA.

Sumner School, 7 p.m.

Thursday, February 8 Special Salon: "Women Creating Careers as Practicing Anthropologists"

This is a special salon/potluck slated for 7:30 at the home of Ruth and Michael Cernea.

Meet some of the authors who contributed to the 2006 NAPA Bulletin, "Making History at the Frontier: Women Creating Careers as Practicing Anthropologists." We are fortunate that Jean (Jay) Schensul is in Washington , D.C. for a grant review process, and has agreed to participate in the event. Other WAPista authors for this bulletin--Mari Clarke (World Bank Consultant, with extensive experience with USAID and other donor organizations), Shirley Fiske (academic; federal executive & legislative branches), Mari Odell Butler (Battelle Centers for Public Health Research & Evaluation), and Susan Racine Passmore (Consultant -public health & child welfare)--invite you to share an evening of reflection and learning about each other in the context of women's career paths and global trends in the workplace. Jay Schensul is Senior Scientist and Founding Director of the Center for Community Research in Connecticut and currently a visiting professor at the University of California/Los Angeles.

The authors will describe the origin and the participatory process used to develop the volume by editor Christina Wasson (U. of N. Texas) and share a few digital photos documenting their career pathways. The process of writing and collaborating on the edited volume was reflexive and participatory, in the vein of autoethnography. Discussion will follow on the themes that emerged or did not, in the hopes of identifying similar themes among participants as practitioner anthropologists. Discussion will follow on the potential demand for expanding this type of publication for practicing anthropologists and others.

This is to be a "light-fare" potluck. In the WAPA tradition, please bring an appetizer if you have a last name in the A-F; a main course/finger food if you are in the G-M range; and a vegetable or fruit offering if you are in the N-Z range. Chocolate desserts are particularly discouraged...

Ruth and Michael's home is at 6113 Robinwood Road , Bethesda MD. Please RSVP to Ruth Cernea: rcernea (at) comcast.net. The home is just off River Road , a few miles north of the District, near Walt Whitman High School . You can reach River Road from Wisconsin Ave, Western Ave , Massachusetts Ave, or several other ways.

By Metro: Bethesda station. Plenty of cabs at the Hyatt Hotel, just above the Metro station (about $7). Tell the driver to take Bradley Blvd to Durbin; Left on Durbin to Plainview ( 2nd Street ); Right on Plainview to Robinwood; left on Robinwood (3rd house on right).

From DC: North on Massachusetts until it dead ends at Goldsboro Road . Right on Goldsboro, to River Road (first light). Left on River Road (get in right lane) to Whittier Blvd (first light: one long block). Right on Whittier Blvd to Robinwood Road ( 6th street on the right, at Walt Whitman High School ). White house on left, up hill.

From the Beltway: River Road exit, south, toward Washington . For further directions or details call 301-320-5579.

Tuesday, March 6: A Strange Place to Practice Anthropology

Speaker: Marilyn Hoskins

Some people practice anthropology among tribal groups in the Amazon. Others practice in Burkina Faso or Nepal. In fact, Marilyn Hoskins had some experience in all these places. But one of her most amazing and rewarding experiences was trying to integrate the holistic and inclusive nature of anthropology and participatory methods into programs of really rigid technocratic and bureaucratic agencies.

"My presentation will focus on the creation of a Community Forestry Program from inside the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It will describe how anthropological approaches and tools colored the way both the program and the activities developed. FAO, a highly bureaucratic organization, gives technical assistance to programs funded by various donor country agencies with their own sets of rules and in recipient country and national services. It is not easy to imagine a more rigid set of bureaucratic systems or technically focused professionals than those in forestry services of these agencies. I was the first social scientist to be hired in the FAO Forestry Department and my task was to introduce forestry with the goal to manage trees and forests in a way to improve livelihoods of local people.

"My talk will focus on the development of activities and understanding and at the same time the management of the program itself: how both became more participatory. As I tried to integrate new approaches into these fixed and seemingly intractable agencies the meaning of concepts such as participation, local ownership and decentralization evolved. I will discuss how the program expanded to other sectors as it became increasingly evident that foresters cannot successfully focus on trees alone but need to be aware of many aspects of local reality."

Marilyn Hoskins, an anthropologist with a communications background, has dedicated her professional life to local governance and community development with equity. She has focused on the interface between the local men and women and the natural resources upon which many directly depend. She lived and worked five years each in Southeast Asia and West Africa and has worked in over 50 countries as well as in the United States. In 1978-79 she helped design and initiate the community forestry program of the United Nations and then joined the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome to further develop and manage that multi-donor global program. She served as a senior forestry officer within the Policy and Planning Division of the Forestry Department. Previously she was the Title XII International Development Chair at Virginia Tech and initiated and coordinated their Participatory Development Program. She was awarded the Distinguished Service to Rural Life award from the Rural Sociological Society, Doctor of Humane Letters for outstanding contributions to wise use of natural resources and maintenance of a high quality natural environment by State University of New York, and Doctor of Humane Letters by the Maxwell School of Syracuse University for outstanding contributions to the field of international rural development. Most recently she served several years as a Scholar in Residence at Indiana University, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, and continues as a Research Associate. She serves on the Board of Directors and the program committee of the Coalition for Economic Empowerment which has programs in a HUD housing project community in Washington, DC.

Sumner School, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 10: Students and Careers in Applied Anthropology

This will be the annual WAPA student-led meeting. A panel of anthropologists will discuss career possibilities and how those interested in professional anthropology can transition into the job market. Scheduled speakers are Shelley Elbert, Senior Program Evaluator, Office of Inspector General, Peace Corps; Phil Herr, Government Accountability Office; Cheryl Levine, Urban Anthropologist, Department of Housing and Urban Development; Sher Plunkett, formally with USAID; Ruth Sando, President of Sando and Associates; and Rachel Watkins, physical anthropologist, American University.

All area students and professionals are welcome to attend. As usual, members and some panelists will be meeting for dinner beforehand at Cafe Luna, 1633 P St. NW, just three blocks from the Sumner School.

Sumner School, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 1:  Contributions of Applied Anthropology to the Design and Evaluation of the Origins Program (Programa Orígenes) in Chile

Speaker Carmiña Albertos will give a brief summary of the political and social context for indigenous peoples in Chile and will describe the main characteristics of the Origins Program, a government initiative for indigenous peoples. She will explain how anthropological knowledge has been applied and contributed to the design and evaluation of the program, modifying the initial objective from "poverty alleviation" to "development with identity" for the Aymara, Atacameño, Quechua and Mapuche peoples. The culture broker role of the anthropologists involved in the preparation and evaluation of the program will be examined, as well as the innovative participatory planning methodology based on cultural categories developed during the design phase.

Carmiña Albertos is an anthropologist from Spain with extensive experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of social projects and multi-sectorial projects with a participatory approach and involving indigenous peoples. She started her development work in Spain (1986) working as a volunteer in rural areas, marginalized urban gypsy communities, and in a drug rehabilitation program for the youth. After that, she lived in a rural community in Equatorial Guinea (1987 and 1989), implementing an integrated development project with focus on education, health and capacity building. She has collaborated with a number of NGOs in Spain, the U.S., Guatemala, Belize, and El Salvador. In Guatemala (1995) she worked as human rights observer in the first Mayan community that returned from exile in Mexico, and provided technical support in their resettlement process. Mrs. Albertos joined the Inter American Development Bank in 1997 and since then has developed and led numerous projects in different sectors (indigenous peoples, integrated social inclusion for children, youth and families at risk, education, culture) in Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. She holds a M.A. in Applied Anthropology (1996, The American University, Washington, DC), and two B.A.s in Philosophy and Education (1992, Universidad Complutense and 1987, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain).

This will be the last regular meeting of the program year.

Sumner School, 7 p.m.

 Sunday, June 3: Summer Sunset Potomac Cruise 

By popular demand WAPA will again charter the Admiral Tilp, this time for a Sunday sunset cruise up the Potomac. This will be the last event of the program year; be sure to reserve quickly, for this event always sells out well in advance. For photos and information about the boat and the Potomac River Boat Company, visit their website at http://www.potomacriverboatco.com/admiraltilp.php.

Time: Important: Be ready to begin boarding at 5:45 p.m.; departure is 6 p.m. and will not wait, so do not be late. We will return to the pier at about 9 p.m.

What to Bring: WAPA will provide beverages and snacks, cups, plates, ice, etc. Those who wish something more substantial are welcome to bring their own picnic dinner or even something to share! A rain jacket has come in handy in the past.

Directions: The boat departs from the docks behind the Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union Street, between Cameron and King streets in Old Town Alexandria. The boat is a double-decker, usually parked in the first slip in the pier, near the Chart House Restaurant. You can't miss it.

Parking: There is limited street parking in the area. See the Torpedo Factory parking map for lots in the area: http://www.torpedofactory.org/Parking.html.

Reservations: The Admiral Tilp is limited to 50 passengers, so act soon. Sorry, phone or email reservations cannot hold a seat. Send $15 by mail for each passenger to:

Viviana Christian
13227 Stravinsky Terrace
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Make checks payable to WAPA.

See you onboard!

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