2022 Setha M. Low Engaged Anthropology Award Recipients

The Setha M. Low Engaged Anthropology award honors individual anthropologists (or multi-disciplinary groups or organizations with at least one anthropologist) or projects which have demonstrated a deep commitment to social justice and community engagement by applying anthropology to effectively address a pressing issue facing people and the planet. This year, the nominations committee selected two award recipients and two honorable mentions. These four honorees demonstrate how anthropologists can mobilize their disciplinary training in solidarity with communities to serve social justice aims.

Award Recipients

Thick Descriptions – Suzette (Felton) Chang

Suzette (Felton) Chang is the founder and CEO of Thick Descriptions, a nonprofit organization engaging in a range of relevant programs inspired by key anthropological tenets including ethical observation and interpretation, positionality, understanding communities, and acting upon one’s commitments. A key component of this model includes partnering with local educational institutions and community-based organizations. One program, “s.t.e.A.m Learning Journeys” focuses on providing relevant learning experiences for youth in the natural and social sciences, emphasizing the unique perspectives of anthropology, and partnering with a range of community partner organizations. Participating students work together to identify and find ways to redress social injustice. Another program, “Elephant in the Room – Unboxed,” facilitates opportunities for dialogue around ‘difficult’ issues, curated for the particular context of Oklahoma. Suzette’s work highlights her positionality in a specific context of “Being Black in a Red State.” Chang has bee