Anthropologists Go Back to School

To better connect the Annual Meeting with its host city, the AAA promotes Anthropologists Go Back to School, an initiative in which meeting attendees introduce elementary, middle, and high school learners to the discipline of anthropology.

Since 2013, the program has offered age-appropriate, interactive activities that highlight all four fields. Its primary goal is to reach out to schools with high concentrations of students of color and students who will be among the first in their families to attend college. Presenters highlight the incredible contributions that anthropologists make to social justice and how anthropology can be an avenue to social change and a potential career path.

Our goals are:

  • To promote anthropology as a tool of inquiry that enhances teaching and learning.
  • To expose students and teachers to the types of research questions we ask, as well as methods used to answer those questions.
  • To encourage the study of anthropology and increase the presence of underrepresented minorities in the field. All anthropologists are welcome to participate, especially those who identify with groups that are underrepresented in the field.

Anthropologists Go Back to School was spearheaded by Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, former president of Spelman College and Bennet College, and director emerita of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. “An education that teaches you to understand something about the world has done only half of the assignment,” Dr. Cole said. “The other half is to teach you to do something about making the world a better place.”

How to participate:

Anthropologists Go Back to School runs concurrently with the AAA Annual Meeting. The 2023 volunteer form will open in early in fall.

Questions about this program can be sent to Caitlyn Kolhoff, Education Program Manager, using this form.