Greetings good people, we are Albertina Lopez, Jewlya Lynn, Geri Peak, Michael Petillo, Aisha Rios, Vidhya Shanker & Susan Wolfe, the team of voices behind AEA session #5365, Voices of Decolonizing Evaluation: Moving from Discussion to Action. Following on our blogs from last year, we are expanding the ongoing discourse on evaluation’s role in envisioning and co-creating a just society by opening space for more voices so that we can advance our understanding together—stimulating change within and among ourselves, and facilitating collective action.
During the session we will:
- share key concepts and/or new ideas we’re exploring in applying anticolonial and liberatory principles to our practice.
- invite others to share insights, using the Technology of Participation© process.
- Have small-group facilitated discussions around self-organized topics focused on different questions related to decolonizing evaluation. Are you at the beginning of your journey? Digging deep into decolonizing your evaluation practices and learning from peers in a similar place? Ready to help build momentum in the evaluation field, looking for ways to bring more people into this conversation? There will be a group for you, no matter where you are on your journey!
- Encourage everyone to lend their voice as we lean into different ways of knowing and bodies of knowledge. There is a great deal of scholarship and organizing that can support our practice beyond the evaluation field.
- What ways of making sense of your experiences and the world did you know before/in addition to your evaluation training (training broadly conceived, not just “formal” or “professional”)?
- How can/do you nurture this knowledge?
- Are you participating in cohort based social/political education, communities of practice facilitated by movement organizers, or collectives testing and modeling action in coherence with liberatory strategies?
We’re eager to hear about your experiences participating in and co-creating such spaces.
- Explore and share our experiences with collective powerbuilding, action, and praxis.
- Who are you in community with?
- Which attachments have you lost and want to reignite?
- How are you engaged in collective, grassroots struggle?
- Finally, we’ll consider where we can continue building power through learning and action, including:
- Participating in AEA DEI, decolonizing and anti-racist groups.
- Reflection and shared DEI journey mapping through The Power of Perspective interactive installation as well as collective action, including direct action organizing, through The May 13 Group.
- Advancing through efforts like the Liberatory Learning Circle for diverse folks facing systemic oppression.
Rad Resources to help stimulate your thinking:
- bell hooks’ call to action for Black intellectuals in Teaching to Transgress to be in relationship with Black folx who lack their same access and privilege
- Unsettling Settlers: Decolonizing Restorative Justice podcast w/ Dr. Edward Valandra
- Paul Kivel’s essay in The Revolution Will Not Be Funded, on “social service or social change” calling on people who’ve gained access to the buffer zone (i.e., evaluators for one) be engaged in grassroots struggle
- People’s Programs’ essay on Hood Communist that challenges our notions of and motivations for community support.
- Grundy, Jiang, and Niiya’s Solidarity as a Settler Move to Innocence
- And search aea365.org for more blogs on decolonization from various authors.
Through these conversations, we’re: redefining what it means to evaluate; leaving the practices of expertism that confine our role to observer/judge; and becoming more adept at collective meaning making. When working in unity and open to diverse inputs, our understanding grows.
Join us on Thursday Nov 10, 2022 to advance the conversation.
The American Evaluation Association is hosting Decolonization in Evaluation Week with some of our colleagues. 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. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.