MPAAC Transitional Operational Plan - Participate & Advocate
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MPAAC Transitional Operational Plan

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1. Overview

The Members’ Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee, or MPAAC, is a committee within the American Anthropological Association (AAA) that oversees the Association’s work in the eight priority areas: ethics; human rights; labor and workforce; public policy; racialized minorities;  gender equity; practicing, public and applied sector; and internationalization.

Coordinated in its overall approach to these eight priority areas, MPAAC also maintains a dual focus on issues and activities that relate primarily to AAA members (“internal”) and to the public (“external”). These foci, like the eight priority areas, interface within MPAAC and are coordinated by the MPAAC leadership: Tricia Redeker Hepner (overall chair), Keri Brondo (internal chair) and Ramona Perez (external chair), and supported by AAA staff Ushma Suvarnakar (overall), Janine McKenna (internal), and Jeff Martin (external).   

MPAAC is a component of AAA governance and exerts leadership within the Association in terms of its advisory and advocacy roles vis-a-vis its eight priority areas and associated activities. Student perspectives and interests are represented by two seats on MPAAC.  

Complete information about the MPAAC committee charge, its objectives and responsibilities, and its membership and appointment, is available here.

2. Vision

MPAAC will function as a single integrated committee with a shared set of interfacing priorities. While MPAAC members representing each of the priority areas will have autonomy to focus on specific issues and activities, effective internal communication and a spirit of collaboration among all MPAAC members will enable synergies among clusters of priority areas or the committee as a whole. MPAAC members should view their roles in terms of leadership in their priority area within a larger coordinated committee.

3. Communication

AAA members may contact the MPAAC Chair ( if there is an issue they feel falls under the committee charge or to suggest particular activities in any of the priority areas. The MPAAC Chair will consult with the co-chairs, the relevant committee members, staff, and AAA leadership, and respond to members accordingly.

The MPAAC charge states that the committee will meet “In person once a year at the annual meeting and via conference call as needed.” MPAAC members are therefore expected to attend the annual committee meeting at the AAA conference, and to participate in regular (i.e. monthly) committee conference calls as determined by the MPAAC chairs. The MPAAC chairs may meet more frequently as needed.  

An MPAAC listserve will enable ongoing communication, coordination, and full member discussion.

With respect to the Executive Board, MPAAC will, according to its charge, “Develop reports, policy statements, and recommend actions to Executive Board.” MPAAC members will be responsible for submitting an annual update to the MPAAC chairs. The overall chair will craft and issue a single annual report on the activities and goals of the committee as these relate to the committee charge and the Strategic Implementation Plan.  

4. Coordination

Based on the 2016 meeting with chairs of the committees (now called “MPAAC priority areas”) at the AAA annual conference, the 2016 annual reports of the committees, the Strategic Implementation Plan, and the MPAAC committee charge and vision, the MPAAC leadership has been actively planning the transition of ongoing activities and additional goals into the MPAAC structure.

The following breakdown conceptualizes the possible form and content of these activities and reflects the overall vision of MPAAC as a single integrated committee dedicated to the eight priority areas and their internal and external dimensions. MPAAC will adopt a self-reflexive and flexible approach to working out its best practices, especially during its inaugural year (12/2017 - 12/2018).    

      4.1. Regular Ongoing Activities

               4.1.1. Annual AAA Meetings

               4.1.2. Anthropology News

               4.1.3. Online Presence

               4.1.4 . Awards and Fellowships

     4.2. Special Continuing Activities

The following activities represent ongoing endeavors that may be taken up under MPAAC. The decision to do so, and how to do so, will be addressed among MPAAC in its inaugural meeting at the 2017 AAA conference in Washington DC. The MPAAC members representing the priority area spearheading the activity should take the lead, but MPAAC chairs will facilitate collaboration with other priority areas in MPAAC to insure a distribution of workload and to enhance integration and synergy within the committee.

               4.2.1. Research and Resources

     4.3. Unified Committee Activities

There are currently two major activities which MPAAC should consider tackling as a single committee. While the MPAAC seats for the most relevant areas (ethics and human rights, respectively) should take the lead, these activities cross-cut anthropology so thoroughly that all seats should be involved.

               4.3.1. AAA Statement on Ethics 

               4.3.2. AAA Third Statement on Anthropology and Human Rights.


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