CP TIG Week: Norma Seledon and Susan Ryerson Espino on “Walk the Talk”

Greetings readers!  We are Norma Seledon and Susan Ryerson Espino and we are members of the Community Psychology (CP) TIG. Over the past two years, the CP TIG has organized a “Walk the Talk” session at the AEA annual meeting. This is a way to provide members with opportunities to learn more about the conference locale and practice the application of CP principles (such as community engagement and empowerment to evaluation work). In these sessions, we have visited neighborhoods and local community organizations, learned from community members and each other, and provided our host organizations with evaluation support.  

RAD RESOURCE:  Please join us November 12, 2015 for a toxic tour in La Villita.  We will better understand how local activists and community members have been engaged in community environmental justice action to raise awareness and reduce health disparities in Chicago.

La Villita is a historic port of entry for many Latino immigrants, particularly those from Mexico. Poor housing stock and transportation, toxic environmental elements including land, water, and air, dangerous work conditions, and dense neighborhoods with little green space all add to the health disparities impacting the everyday lives of La Villita’s working-class families. The rates of asthma, obesity, teen pregnancy, and poor mental health outcomes in La Villita are among the highest in the city of Chicago.

Staff from The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) will guide us through their community.  They will teach us about their activism around environmental justice, criminalization, and gentrification. They will share how they have used culturally relevant popular education and other participatory tactics to engage community members.  We will hear about their powerful environmental justice struggles and witness firsthand how they have reclaimed toxic industrial sites to collaboratively design and enjoy healthy green space. A facilitated conversation will follow on how community psychology-informed evaluation can bolster grassroots action and program refinements.

Join us and other CP TIG members in this mutually-beneficial experience about how evaluation can be used to better serve diverse populations and help reduce health disparities in communities like La Villita. The walk starts at the Hyatt Regency front entrance at 2:00 pm on November 12th. Look for cars with posters stating “Community Psychology and Evaluation Community Tour.”  After the tour we will have a guided discussion, dinner, and the CP TIG business meeting.  We welcome all conference attendees to stay on for all activities.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating CP TIG Week with our colleagues in the Community Psychology Topical Interest Group. The contributions all week come from CP TIG members. 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@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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