Anthropologist Elected Ontario Green Party President

For Immediate Release
July 23, 2013

OSHAWA – Trent University Professor and Markham resident Dr. Roger Lohmann became Green Party of Ontario president on June 23 at the party’s annual convention at Durham College in Oshawa. Lohmann is a scholar of cultural change with international political organizing experience. 
“I would like to extend congratulations to Roger Lohmann on his election as GPO President,” said GPO leader Mike Schreiner. “His expertise in anthropology and his long experience in Green politics will greatly benefit the party. We all look forward to working with him.” 
Lohmann was founding President and CEO of Markham-Unionville’s Green Party federal and provincial riding associations from 2009–2013. He remains on the Executive of the Markham-Unionville Greens. He has also founded the Trent Oshawa Greens, an organization for green supporters at Trent’s southern campus, where his lab and teaching are based.
Explaining his activism for the Greens, Lohmann remarked, “We all want to grow a green and just economy so we will prosper and our children and grandchildren can thrive in a clean and healthy world. Doing that takes political will and perseverance that the other parties have repeatedly sacrificed to get elected, but never the Green Party, which is precisely why Greens deserve our votes.”
“Voters are electing Greens elsewhere in Canada, and the indications are that wins are just around the corner in Ontario, which will be good for all of us” said Lohmann. 
A native of Wisconsin who immigrated to Canada in 2002, Lohmann was also active in the American Green Party movement while earning a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 1997, he helped found the Four Lakes Green Party of Dane County, and he edited the Wisconsin Green Party’s newsletter from 1997 to 1998. “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to do my part as a Canadian citizen in such a central role as GPO president,” Lohmann said. 
Lohmann has also served as Chair of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, and as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Reviews in Anthropology. 
As an anthropologist, Lohmann studies experiences that convince people to accept or reject beliefs. He lived among the Asabano people of Papua New Guinea for over a year and a half, studying how their traditions and beliefs have changed since their first contacts with the West in the mid-20th Century. 
“Asabano people used their existing ideas and ongoing experiences to evaluate the new ideas they were exposed to. In the process, many of their customs have changed,” Lohmann said. “In the same way, life in Ontario was very different a generation ago, and is changing rapidly. Green thought and concern for sustainability are in the air.” 
Following in the footsteps of Elizabeth May’s 2011 election and Andrew Weaver’s recent win as MLA in BC, the Ontario Greens have put top priority on electing leader Mike Schreiner  as Ontario’s first Green MPP. Schreiner is running in the next general election in Guelph, where the Greens have historically made strong showings. 
The GPO is also fielding candidates in all of the current by-elections.

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Emilia Melara
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