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AAA Names Ombudspersons for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

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January 22, 2019

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) has selected M. Gabriela Torres, a professor at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, and Bernard Perley, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as its ombudspersons to receive and review AAA-related complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault. 

Dr. Torres is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in the study of the violence– particularly gender based violence– and state formation. Dr. Perley specializes in linguistic anthropology and has a PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University.

The ombudspersons will be the organization’s primary resource and point of contact for AAA members regarding concerns about sexual harassment. They will be responsible for receiving complaints of sexual harassment in the context of AAA settings and activities, and, when possible, serve as a resource to members regarding such complaints.

AAA released its Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in 2018 in an effort to set standards of responsible professional conduct for its members and to call for continuing awareness and education, as well as institutional and cultural change. As a scholarly and professional association, AAA has zero tolerance for sexual harassment in academic, professional, fieldwork, conferences, or any other settings where its members work.

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Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association, with 9,000 members, is the world’s largest scholarly and professional organization of anthropologists. The Association is dedicated to advancing human understanding and applying this understanding to the world’s most pressing problems.

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