Committee for Children, Childhaven, Juvenile Detention Center, Community Service Committee
This Urban Cultural Anthropologist has worked with street people, prostitutes, drug addicts, women in prison, runaways, juvenile offenders and victims of violence, dissertations, research, papers, curriculum development
dissertations, research, papers, curriculum development, violence prevention
About Jennifer James, PhD - Community Service Background

Community Service - Background

Jennifer James Community Service Background


Jennifer James is an Urban Cultural Anthropologist who has been a community service worker for 30 years. Her earliest research projects were with street people, primarily prostitutes and drug addicts. Her dissertation was on the survival language and perception patterns of street walkers.

She organized a project in the Seattle Woman's Jail and the Woman's Prison as part of this work. It was called the Female Offender Project and provided basic "get through the bureaucracy" services for women inmates. Two community service books came out of this research and assistance: "The Politics of Prostitution " and "How to Get Out Of Jail".  Jennifer has participated in other research grants that involved runaways, juvenile offenders and women in prison. She balanced out this research with practical services to the research "subjects."

Along with these research and service projects, Jennifer James has also contributed to journal articles, legislative work to change laws, and work to improve the police and prison processes affecting women offenders.

Subsequent projects involved alternative placements for runaways living on the streets, juvenile female prostitutes and male prostitutes. Another book, "Street Survival", was written and distributed as a manual to help kids on the street.

Various research and service projects, including advertising campaigns, videos, posters, and publicity to help the community service projects led to the formation of the non-profit organization, the Committee for Children. This group started in her basement and is now a very successful non-profit organization with a multimillion-dollar budget. The Committee initially wrote a curriculum for children, "Talking about Touching" to prevent child victimization. This curriculum is now taught all over the world. Other curriculums, Second Step (on communication and negotiation) to, "Steps to Respect" (on bullying) are also distributed worldwide. Jennifer has written two other booklets, "I Still Love You" on preventing violence towards children and "Playing It Safe" for latch key kids. Other curriculums have been developed to help children protect themselves against physical abuse.

Jennifer James began the Committee for Children and is one of their advisors; however, she has never held a paid position. She regularly sponsors fundraisers for the Committee for Children and other nonprofit community service groups. She is now working on two curriculums: one is on investing, (How Money Makes Money) for children who come from poverty. The idea is to teach them the financial knowledge and skills that middle and upper class kids may grow up with so they can compete. The other is on grass-roots democracy for children whose parents may not vote or be active in their community.

 Jennifer also started the Community Service Committee that has participated in projects with the Juvenile Detention Center and Head Start.  The Community Service Committee assists people to find ways to be of service to their community. It also operates as a "Dear Abby" referral agency for anyone who is in need. Jennifer's house and garden have been used for many fundraisers, notably, for Childhaven, an organization that protects and cares for children at risk in special neighborhood centers.

Jennifer James is a community advocate in every sense of that phrase. She is politically active as well, doorbells for candidates and organizes political fundraisers.

Her most current community work is about the understanding and prevention of violence. She is presently working on a new curriculum for the Committee for Children on cultural intelligence (a new approach to diversity and destructive mythologies).

December 2006   Top | E-mail: Jennifer James

Copyright 2006 Dr. Jennifer James