BECOME Week: Uniquely Communicating about Evaluation by Revolution MacIness

Namaste, my name is Revolution MacInnes and I’m the Senior Advisor at Become, a nonprofit in Chicago using culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) as a tool in manifesting racial equity and justice with communities of color.

CRE has an incredible power to transform people, programs, organizations, and communities. Understanding that CRE is built on a foundation of achieving equity and justice in and for marginalized people and communities isn’t always readily apparent when explaining what CRE involves.

While expanding the reach of CRE, we have sometimes struggled to communicate just what it is we do, how we do it and why. In communicating the core concepts of culturally responsiveness, we developed a white paper for non-evaluation audiences. Making it accessible to a wide range of readers proved to be a challenge. Let’s face it – even explaining the power and benefits of evaluation to potential clients can be difficult.

As I observed the process of developing our white paper, I realized we needed something exciting and different to communicate the power of our ideas to a wider audience. So, our team set out to produce a comic book that explains the first phase of our community development model inspired by CRE, a Community Engagement Initiative.

I joke that our elevator pitch requires me to hit the emergency stop button and spend 45 minutes explaining what we do. Having something like a comic book or an animated video to explain the power and capabilities of your work might just be the thing to set your work apart from the crowd.

Hot Tips:

  • Finding a comic book or manga artist passionate to communicate and foster change, who can work on a tight budget, isn’t as difficult as it might seem. There are thousands of young artists in school or working as graphic designers by day, with dreams of being the next big thing in comics. The chance to publish their work and actually see it in the hands of people would motivate many.
  • Create both Kindle Book and Apple Book versions. Comic books look great on tablets, smartphones and iBook readers.
  • Look for full color comic book printing on Google. There are several companies that will produce fantastic looking physical copies of your comic book for reasonable prices.

Rad Resource: For our comic book, we partnered with a talented comic book artist who is a passionate about helping others and contributing to positive causes.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Become: Community Engagement and Social Change week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from authors associated with Become. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


4 thoughts on “BECOME Week: Uniquely Communicating about Evaluation by Revolution MacIness”

  1. Revolution: Congratulations for publishing on this platform and thanks for sharing this document with us! A comic book?!? Who would have thought! Very creative and unexpected. Thanks a lot for the tips; very helpful.

    I have 2 comments to improve content. Double check the report when you have a chance. You can edit a couple of things to improve fluidity and overall quality: punctuation, word usage, and spelling (whitepaper sometimes is written in 1 word and other times is 2 words). My second comment is more a question: Is there a synonym for whitepaper? Perhaps guide,report, executive summary, study? Given that the organization works on cultural and racial awareness, the term whitepaper seems off.

    I’m curious to hear your answers.

    1. Hey there Maya,

      Thank you for the comments. We were just discussing the next edition of the comic book which will speak to culturally responsive evaluation as a tool to achieve racial equity and justice.

      We will go over the paper again, we always appreciate editorial feedback.

      I cringe every time I type out the words white paper. It always feels a bit off around here as well. Dr. McBride and I have come to the conclusion that we will call it a guide, though there may be times when white paper may be used in a specific context beyond our control. Thanks for mentioning your discomfort, as it gave us the opportunity to address the issue and make a decision.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.