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Engaging Your Organization in the Coalition: Opportunities and Obstacles Douglas Richardson Executive Director, Association of American Geographers.

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging Your Organization in the Coalition: Opportunities and Obstacles Douglas Richardson Executive Director, Association of American Geographers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaging Your Organization in the Coalition: Opportunities and Obstacles Douglas Richardson Executive Director, Association of American Geographers

2 Geography and Human Rights AAG Newsletter, September 2008 Science and Human Rights Coalition Cooperation around an AAAS project on Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Development of an AAG Geography and Human Rights Clearinghouse Geography and Human Rights AAG Newsletter, September 2008 Science and Human Rights Coalition Cooperation around an AAAS project on Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Development of an AAG Geography and Human Rights Clearinghouse

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4 The AAG Geography and Human Rights webpage Bibliographic database of geographic research relating to human rights A forum page for scholars to network and discuss research topics Access to the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition website Links to Human Rights organizations, research centers, and libraries Upcoming events relating to Geography and Human Rights Accessible to AAG members and non-members alike

5 Resources: Human Rights Bibliography page

6 Some things do change: indigenous rights, geographers and geography in Australia Howitt, Richard; Sue Jackson 1998 Journal Name: Australian Geographer Volume: 29 Issue: 2 Pages: Source Type: Journal Article Website: Abstract: Using a recent editorial comment in this journal as a focus, this paper reviews the extent to which geography has been implicated in the 'colonial project‘ in Australia. It argues that recent work amongst geographers involved with indigenous Australians reflects a commitment to transcend this colonial past. The paper calls for geographers to work toward a wide reaching decolonisation of the discipline, and to develop a better understanding of the contemporaryl egacies of geography's colonial past. Sample Bibliographic Entry

7 The AAG Statement on Professional Ethics Endorsed by the Council of the Association of American Geographers Full versions are available under the Governance section of the AAG website: and as a printed handout.

8 Statement on Professional Ethics References to Human Rights Ethical Behavior during Field Research … researchers should report only on matters about which they have acquired considerable understanding, and should always keep the best interests of their research subjects in mind. This means that local traditions and mores should be respected unless they directly undermine the basic human rights of affected individuals. Moreover, assistance provided by local informants and co- researchers may be controversial, and protecting these persons should be paramount. Ethical Debate in Geography This Statement… is inspired by a concern with individual, social, and environmental health. What constitutes health will always be a matter of debate that can and should be informed by a diversity of perspectives. Some will emphasize the well-being of animals, humans and/or the natural environment, focusing, for example, on the rights of sentient animals, oppressed minorities, or endangered species and ecosystems. Others will emphasize the role of human rights, social justice, or ethics of care in the pursuit of well-being. For still others, well-being may exist as an unarticulated commitment, or as the central focus of research. This diversity of views is to be welcomed because an ongoing conversation, conducted with respect, can deepen personal and shared insights into moral relations between humans and the world in which they live and work.

9 Sample Topics from AAG’s Ethics Statement Sustaining Community Confidentiality Relations with People, Places, and Things Ethical Behavior during Field Research Research Involving Indigenous Peoples, Ethnic Minorities and Other Potentially Vulnerable Groups Research Involving Geospatial Technologies The Use of Results from Funded Research Ethical Debate in Geography

10 NSF-Funded AAG Project on GIS and Ethics Ethics Education for Current and Aspiring Geospatial Professionals: Developed and instituted ethics seminars within graduate geography programs at Penn State, Oregon State, and the University of Minnesota. Prepared current and future geo-spatial professionals to recognize ethical implications of Geographic Information Systems & Technologies (GIS&T) and to make reasoned decisions when confronted with ethical challenges. A team of professional ethicists and GIS&T educators worked together to produce a collection of freely-available educational resources.

11 AAG Specialty Group: Ethics, Justice and Human Rights The Ethics, Justice and Human Rights Specialty Group of the AAG exists to further inquiry into normative issues of relevance to geography, and to facilitate collaboration between existing AAG specialty groups and committees whose areas of focus touch on these issues. The overall intent of the EJHRSG is to support inclusive and informed discussion of ethics, justice and human rights issues by geographers as a legitimate and important activity throughout the discipline.

12 AAG Annual Meeting 2009, Las Vegas Special track of sessions co- sponsored by AAG and AAAS Topics included: Discrimination in urban areas Geographies of Fear and Violence Refugee resettlement issues Cross-border trafficking Spatial Autocorrelation in Environmental Justice

13 AAG Annual Meeting 2010, Washington, DC Human Rights 101 for Geographers workshop featuring Margaret Huang (Rights Working Group), Jessica Wyndham (AAAS), and Doug Richardson (AAG) Geography of Genocide film screening and panel discussion with the filmmaker, Jonah Quickmire Pettigrew Geographic Approaches to Human Rights Concerns paper session


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