MN IBPOC in Evaluation Community of Praxis Week: Evaluating How the State Handled the Civil Unrest Following the Killing of George Floyd by Nicole MartinRogers

Greetings! I am Nicole MartinRogers, a senior research manager at Wilder Research. I am obsessed with using evaluation and research to inform practices, programs, and policies. I am a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities and I am a descendant of White Earth Nation. I feel honored and obligated to do good evaluation work that has a positive impact on my community.

You likely heard about it when George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day 2020, and about the protests and riots that ensued on the streets of the Twin Cities (along with many other major cities around the world).

My team at Wilder was recently contracted by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to conduct an external review of how the state handled the civil unrest following George Floyd’s killing, between the dates of May 26 and June 7, 2020. As a part of this project, we’re conducting a literature review, interviews and listening sessions with stakeholders, and a review of the state’s documentation.

Hot Tip

This project has significant implications for BIPOC communities in Minnesota. 

Wilder subcontracted with the Minnesota Justice Research Center to conduct listening sessions with community members who were most affected, focusing on their perceptions of and experiences with the state’s response. We also plan to do a community share-back session at the end.

Cool Trick

This was not the first protest that ever happened, nor was it the first time law enforcement and other agencies responded.

After Action Reviews (AARs) are common for law enforcement to complete after a major event. Before we started this project, we looked to the field to help us figure out how to do our project as well as to learn what lessons other agencies have learned from AARs following similar events in other places. For example, Johns Hopkins University did a very insightful review for the City of Baltimore following mass demonstrations after Freddie Gray was killed by police in 2015.

Rad Resource

The Final Report from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing is a foundational document that many progressive law enforcement leaders use to guide their practices. It’s good to know about these trusted field-specific resources when entering a new-ish evaluation space for you.

Lessons Learned

This work will all be for naught if the state doesn’t learn anything and use it for next time.

As I write this blog, state agencies are partnering with local agencies to carry out Operation Safety Net in conjunction with Chauvin’s trial, where they are already implementing some lessons they learned from their internal AAR.

As we move toward the reporting, dissemination, and recommendations phases of this project with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, I want to be sure that the end goal is clear: continuous improvement and learning. We also need a good plan to implement these changes. The principles of Utilization-Focused Evaluation will be important for us to apply to this important work!


The American Evaluation Association is hosting MN IBPOC in Evaluation Community of Praxis Week. 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.

1 thought on “MN IBPOC in Evaluation Community of Praxis Week: Evaluating How the State Handled the Civil Unrest Following the Killing of George Floyd by Nicole MartinRogers”

  1. Gwenn Grondal

    “My team at Wilder was recently contracted. . . to conduct an external review of how the state handled the civil unrest following George Floyd’s killing. . . .” What an honor and responsibility! I can see how normative values (what happened vs. what should have happened) could slip into your process, but that is a role for other stakeholders to play once you are finished. What are you (all) doing to keep yourselves objective when you are so close to the events both geographically and historically?

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