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Visiting anthropology scholar to address race

Sept. 22, 2008

KALAMAZOO--An authority on diversity, gender and class disparities and origins of social inequality as it relates to anthropology will focus on the subject of race when she visits the Western Michigan University campus next week.

Dr. Yolanda T. Moses' trip here is a prelude to the upcoming American Anthropological Association exhibit "Race: Are We So Different," which is coming to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum in 2010. Her free public presentation, titled "Toward an Engaged Anthropology: Public Interest Anthropology in the 21st Century," begins at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in the Multi-Cultural Center Lounge in the Trimpe Building and will focus on the anthropological aspects of the exhibit. A reception will follow her presentation.

Moses serves as professor of anthropology; associate vice chancellor for diversity, excellence and equity; and vice provost for conflict resolution at the University of California, Riverside. Moses' research focuses on the broad question of the origins of social inequality in complex societies through the use of comparative ethnographic and survey methods. She has explored gender and class disparities in the Caribbean, East Africa and in the United States. More recently, her research has focuses on issues of diversity and change in universities and colleges in the United States, India and South Africa.

Moses served as president of the American Anthropological Association, chair of the board of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, past president of City University of New York/ The City College and president of the American Association for Higher Education.

She was involved with several national higher education projects with the National Council for Research on Women, Campus Women Lead and The Women of Color Research Collective. In addition, she is chair of the National Advisory Board of a multi-year national public education project sponsored by the American Anthropological Association and funded by the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation on Race and Human Variation. She is the co-author, with Drs. Carol Mukhopadhyay and Rosemary Henze, professors at California State University San Jose, of the book "How Real is Race: A Sourcebook on Race, Culture and Biology," published in 2007 by Rowman and Littlefield.

Moses is currently a consultant to the American Council on Education's project on linking international and diversity issues and the recent publication, "At Home in the World: Bridging the Gap Between Internationalization and Multicultural Education." She is currently a faculty member in the Salzburg Seminar's ISP Program funded by the Mellon Foundation.

She has also held senior faculty appointments at George Washington University as a visiting researcher and as professor of anthropology at the City University of New York's Graduate University.

While on campus, Moses will make several presentations for students, faculty and community leaders. Those include:

  • An interactive dialogue with students at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in Room 208 of the Bernhard Center titled "Is Race Real? How Anthropological Understanding Promotes Intercultural Communication Skills."
  • Race Exhibit Initiative Community Leadership Board meeting, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, at the YWCA, 353 E. Michigan Ave., titled "The Myths and Realities of Race: Toward Creating a Culture of Inclusion."
  • A lunch discussion with students at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26, in the Department of Anthropology, Moore Hall, titled "Race and Higher Education."

Moses' trip to Kalamazoo is made possible through the WMU Visiting Scholars and Artists Program.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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