President’s Message

SWAA President’s Message 8-21-20

Greetings all!

Janet holding a book

I hope you all are staying healthy and keeping busy at your homes.I know that families with small children, school age children, or elder adults are having to deal a lot of logistics and challenges.

But I also know people who are (re)discovering some joy in working from home and (re)learning how to spend time with their families, and others are finding ways to do this for members of the community who are really struggling—through phoning isolated elder adults and helping them connect with people and resources, food distribution events, COVID testing events, making masks out of old prison uniforms, and creating safe living spaces for people experiencing homelessness. We are all becoming Zoom whizzes and the idea of holding a meeting by Zoom, which previously may have seemed both daunting and un-pleasant, is now a nonissue. We are figuring it out, often making it up as we go along. These stories of positivity offer glimmers of hope during these darker days.

Here in Albuquerque we were particularly sad not to be able to host the SWAA conference in April because of the COVID-19 restrictions. I know that those of you who were planning to attend were also disappointed. The SWAA Board will be meeting this fall to think about what to do for the conference in spring 2021. The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving, so we will just have to wait and see where we are as the date gets closer.

The good news is that we were able to get the same amazing venue at the Hotel Albuquerque, but on what seems like better dates. Plus, the Society for Applied Anthropology (SFAA) won’t be having their conference in Albuquerque next year, so that means that there won’t be a conflict for people who didn’t really want to come to Albuquerque in March for SFAA and return again in April for SWAA—although I have to say that I really don’t understand that. Who wouldn’t want to come to Albuquerque twice, right?

But the bad news will be if the COVID situation worsens or if the need for travel and group meeting restrictions continues—which seems likely. So, we will just have to wait it out for now. If we cannot meet in Albuquerque, perhaps we will figure out what makes sense to keep our SWAA community connected.

As they say, stay safe and healthy, and stay home.



Summer 2020, Volume 61 No. 2