Dr. James Diego Vigil has been selected to receive the 2022 Solon T. Kimball Award for Public and Applied Anthropology. The Kimball Award honors exemplary anthropologists for outstanding recent achievements that have contributed to the development of anthropology as an applied science and that have impacted public policy.
Dr. Vigil’s expertise is in urban street youth, urban psychology, socialization, and educational anthropology, as well as in the ethnohistory of Mexico and the United States Southwest. He has taught and/or held administrative positions at Harvard University, the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty at UCLA, and the University of Southern California. Beyond any academic recognition he has received, his work with communities has strengthened the ability of those communities and the systems that would work with them to effectively interact and address critical issues. Vigil’s work demonstrates the power that anthropology can achieve when it focuses on a community and explores their vision and concerns. His work is a singular example of the power of anthropology.
James has written several books: From Indians to Chicanos: The Dynamics of Mexican American Culture; Personas Mexicanas: Chicano High Schoolers in a Changing Los Angeles; Barrio Gangs: Street Life and Identity in Southern California; A Rainbow of Gangs: Street Cultures in the Mega-City; The Projects: Gang and Non-Gang Families in East Los Angeles, Gang Redux, and StreetSmart/SchoolSmart. He’s currently a professor in the School of Social Ecology at the University of California at Irvine.