Eric S. Greene, Founder and Executive Director
As a cultural anthropologist specializing in psychological anthropology, I served as an executive with behavioral health-related nonprofits at the community and international levels, including the Hispanic AIDS Forum in New York City, and California-based ETR Associates. We addressed numerous issues including familial rejection, chemical and behavioral addictions, loneliness, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, and domestic violence. Thereafter, I continued to support nonprofit and artistic projects as an independent consultant.
While developing community programs with different health-based organizations, I recognized that, for many of our clients, serious family problems were never adequately addressed, if at all. Such problems included the discord between adult siblings, in-law conflicts, the mistreatment of animals within families, elder abuse within families, and the roles that built environments and different technologies have on family interactions – all with profound impact on the quality of individuals’ lives and families. Hence, the seed for a new organization to fill these gaps was planted.
Much of my career has been devoted to creating new programs and approaches that address unmet needs. In the early 1980s I pioneered the transdisciplinary field of Animals and Culture Studies while still an undergraduate. It examines the cultural perceptions, representations, and statuses of (nonhuman) animals – as well as our relationships with them – at home, in ‘the wild,’ and within society at-large, across different cultures. The field also explores what it means to be human, variations on the theme of ‘family,’ the significance of community, and our connections to Nature. Interpersonal relationships among different human groups and between humans and other species – and the external factors that shape those relationships – continue to be of great concern for me.
Interweaving my professional and academic work with that of our board members, advisors, and volunteers, Family Spirals® is poised to effectively address widespread yet neglected family problems and dynamics.
My B.A. and M.A. were rooted in cultural anthropology (from Binghamton University and Vermont College, respectively), as was further graduate study at the New School for Social Research.
Research interests: family dynamics, animals and culture studies, language and semiotics, mental health, constructions of public and private spaces, social marginalization, and notions of authority/expertise.
Recreationally, I enjoy the great outdoors, hiking and camping, a good read, a great film, beautiful voices, playful conversations, and local arts.