It’s been a tough few weeks. A tough couple of months. And for many, especially our Black colleagues and friends, it’s always been tough. State-sanctioned police terror and murder never relents—not for George Floyd, not for Breonna Taylor, not for countless others. It’s devastating that it took so much pain for the sweeping calls to action we’re now seeing. And in the same space, we’re buoyed by the progress communities across the country are making, demanding that public resources be dedicated to Black communities and life, not death at the hands of militarized police. It’s progress, however painful.
Race is and always has been about power—power to exploit, steal, co-opt, and get away with murder. Knowledge is power, and as knowledge creators and sharers, we have a duty to do our part in dismantling the racist and anti-Black systems embedded in our corner of evaluation, strategy, and learning for the social sector. Our core work is to ask “What has changed? What still needs to change? Who is benefitting and who is not? Whose voices are being heard and whose are not? Who does this inquiry serve?” These questions are more pressing than ever; they are core to our work, and we urge our colleagues to make them core to theirs as well.
Here are some additional actions that we’re taking, and that we call on our fellow research and evaluation colleagues to also take:
- Sign this petition to the American Statistical Association demanding that they rename the Fisher Lecture, which currently honors a statistician who advanced white supremacy and eugenics.
- Commit to the principles of Equitable Evaluation.
- Join or commit to working with evaluators who understand how bias works and who have expertise in using evaluation in service of equity. A great place to start is the Advancing Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation Network.
We’re grateful to those who have compiled lists of actions to take that extend beyond evaluation. We won’t duplicate the good work they’ve done, but here are some that we’ve found helpful:
- For non-Black and White accomplices, check out this excellent list edited by Jonathan Osler.
- For a comprehensive list of national resources, including mental health resources, this Link Tree by @BotanicalDyke is a good place to start.
- We love this list of anti-racist eBooks available at the Oakland Public Library.
We want you to know that we see you and the hard work that you’re doing. Some of you have been doing this work for a long time. Some of you are just now stepping into it. Either way, we know that bearing our country’s racial violence and joining the long march of ancestors that fought against it is difficult, trying work. It is, nevertheless, our moral and human imperative. And we’re humbled to take it up alongside and in support of you, our clients and community.
If conversation is helpful, we’re here for that. Please reach out, share with us how you’re doing, and what’s on your mind. And if just knowing that there’s someone out there who has your back and is doing this work too, we’re here for that, too.
In strength and solidarity,
The Informing Change team