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A photo of the 2018 AAA Executive Board.
A photo of the 2018 AAA Executive Board.

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2020 AAA Presidents’ Award Recipients

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We’re proud to announce that the Association of Black Anthropologists, the Society for Medical Anthropological’s Responses to Health Emergencies Special Interest Group, and Mayanthi Fernando are the recipients of this year’s Presidents’ Awards. This year’s honorees were selected by AAA President, Akhil Gupta.

A head shot of Riché Barnes, president of the Association of Black Anthropologists

Riché Barnes


The Association of Black Anthropologists is honored for its enduring commitment to research, scholarship, and practice that realize the promise of transforming anthropology and for creating generations of intellectual leaders who are pointing the way towards dismantling the structures of racism and social injustice that have framed and housed the engines of oppression in our discipline and the wider world. The association is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Riché Barnes, pictured left, is the current president of The Association of Black Anthropologists. 



2020 Presidents' Award Winnders, Kristen Hedges and Deon Clairborne

Pictured from left to right, Kristin Hedges and Deon Claiborne. 


The SMA’s Anthropological Responses to Health Emergencies Special Interest Group is recognized for rapidly mobilizing a wide range of valuable information resources in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, including a series of highly informative webinars, online background information resources, and an expanded roster of content area specialists ready to share their insights with response partner organizations and affected communities. . Kristin Hedges (Grand Valley State U) and Deon Claiborne (Michigan State U) are the co-leaders for the Anthropological Responses to Health Emergencies Special Interest Group. 


 A picture of Mayanthi Fernando standing outside smiling against a white wall

Mayanthi Fernando


Mayanthi Fernando, of UC Santa Cruz, for co-organizing the pioneering virtual event, Distribute 2020, for the Society for Cultural Anthropology and the Society for Visual Anthropology in May, and then using the wisdom gained from this experience to step up and organize the path-breaking AAA fall event series, Raising Our Voices. I am extremely grateful to Mayanthi for volunteering to do such a big task at such short notice.


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