Introducing MIA, Minorities in Anthropology

     Minorities in Anthropology (MIA) is a group of UCSC anthropology students and postdoctoral scholars who meet together with aims of identifying and addressing issues in minority presence, inclusion, and participation within the discipline. Participants share their visions for the UCSC Anthropology Department and exchange ideas about events and projects that can further help the goals of the club.

     My goal in creating this space was to facilitate the participation of minority and underrepresented groups within the anthropology department as well as to build community, provide a space for networking and academic exchange, and discuss their experiences and perspectives within the discipline. With an increasingly diverse population of emerging and established scholars, there is a need to address the historical applications and practices of anthropology while moving forward with increasingly critical perspectives.

     As I reflect on the past three quarters since the formation of this group, I am both surprised and delighted at the range of academic and personal experiences contributed by MIA members. We have created a collective resource document with valuable information and concrete insight on the academic and professional directions accessible through anthropology. This is important in anthropology, which is often restricted to academic spheres. Many students lack opportunities to connect with professionals and scholars who have unique, creative, and activist-focused applications of their anthropological training.

     As we wrap up this year,  MIA is awaiting a response from the American Anthropological Association for the “Mentoring Event” proposal we submitted earlier this year. This proposed event would be an open dialogue to discuss the ethical and sociopolitical dilemmas faced by critical scholars in the discipline, and would be open to undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. We are also planning outreach and networking events during fall of the upcoming school year.

-By Tanya Magaña Marroquín, Senior, Minorities in Anthropology Founder