in Translating Anthropological Knowledge into Action
Suzanne Huertin-Roberts presented Praxis award to Tashima and Crain
Recipients were Cathleen Crain, Nathaniel Tashima, Reiko Ishihara-Brito, and Erick Lee Cummings, announced at the AAA Annual Meeting, December 2017, Washington, DC.
The LTG team argued for an empathetic approach to elicit the health experiences of families. Importantly, the ethnographers presented themselves as learners rather than experts. Said one Praxis Award juror, "It's a nice example of ethnographic filmmaking... I love the ethnographic sensibility of this project."
The Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists (WAPA) established the Praxis Award for Excellence in the Practice of Anthropology in 1981. The biennial professionally-juried award recognizes expertise in translating anthropological knowledge into action as reflected in a single project. In December, LTG Associates earned its 6th Praxis recognition making LTG the single most honored group in Praxis history.
The 2017 Honorable Mention recognized LTG's outstanding achievement for a State of California Department of Health Care Services project, "A Video Ethnographic Study: Raising Healthy Children in Poverty and Examples of Excellence in Addressing Childhood Wellness".
The LTG team worked with professional videographer Erick Lee Cummings to develop two ethnographic videos. LTG co-created the videos with community leaders engaged in innovative community health projects and parents in poor conditions working to raise healthy families. "Being the Change" interviewed professionals providing cutting-edge services to families and communities. "Raising Up the Children" examined how low-income parents across the state of California confront challenges to raise healthy children.
Each video creates a forum for the participants to speak directly to power from a position of strength. They were designed to bring the faces and voices of participants and their worlds into direct relations with policymakers, program developers, and legislative staff and legislators for the State of California. These videos have been used for briefings, trainings, and policy and program development.
This project could have been carried out by other professionals, but the anthropological difference began with LTG's reframing of the community participant-focused research questions to center on families and their lived experience and context. It continued through the identification and recruitment of participants through the use of social networks. The video interviews and creation of the presentations depicted the lives of individuals that were then validated by the participants, closing the loop from interview to data to analysis to final video production.