By: ¡Milwaukee Evaluation!
Event Date: 04/23/21
Event Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST
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As the nation anxiously waits for the presidential results, 2020 can still provide an opportunity to re-set relationships with each other, the land, and attune evaluative ideology toward social justice.
In this workshop series, participants get to unpack several topics and move them to the center of evaluation professional development. And while people wait for a revolution, they’ll settle for a different r-word: Reparations.
In this moment of extreme economic inequality (seen across the globe and in this country along racial lines) there is no possibility whatsoever for any policy or program intervention to close the wealth gap between the underclass of color and white elites. People have tried for decades and nothing has worked to make the people at the bottom whole. An economic intervention has never been designed that can be brought to scale to achieve permanent intergenerational, cumulative, or population-level effects for lower-income Black families.
In the past few years, reparations as a policy agenda has gained prominence. What keeps reparations off the table, even now, as foundations pour millions into racial equity investments and new diversity, equity and inclusion portfolios, and organizations and government entities submitting their best ideas for consideration?
Bending science explains part of it. Bending science describes the manipulation of the scientific process and data for political purposes. In this workshop series, participants will read a piece that describes the use of “the life and death” analogy of one Milwaukee and one non-Wisconsin neighborhood to justify redlining, divestment, and ultimately “renewal” and “rebrith” through gentrification and resident displacement. The use of science to legitimize misplaced analogies is one example of how bending science occurs. There are many other ways bending science shows up in the stories evaluators tell. People know that colonialism and anti-Blackness heavily influence their methods and analysis. In this workshop, participants will explore reparations as a way to study these mechanisms.
Betting on reparations policy requires an ideology that is restorative, one that seeks to sustain and care for all life. This ideology fully rejects neocolonialism and neoliberalism within our economic system. As a result, participants will read several pieces by W.E.B. DuBois, Frantz Fanon, and members of the Black Panther Party to re-establish the link between reparations, the process of eradicating neocolonial structures, and liberation. Several legal scholars have flagged the absence of serious reparations policy as an example of the co-optation of racial equity as a goal, approach, and value. They will read their works and explore potential liberation metrics for success that draw from their policy recommendations. Wouldn’t you love to evaluate a policy intervention that democratically redistributes wealth?
This workshop is free for ¡Milwaukee Evaluation! Members, $20 for non-members who are students, non-college enrolled youth, community members, and community organizers, and $55 for all other non-members.
- Evaluators and data analysts exploring the intersection between race, class, colonialism, and bending science
- Government employees and evaluators engaged in economic development, racial equity, and the provision of quality public goods
- Students and residents looking for a professional networking community related to racial justice and data
- Grantmaking institutions undertaking a strategy refresh
- Anyone who wants to learn about reparations, even in the context of reparations for mass incarceration (e.g., marijuana charges)
This workshop series is modeled on the in-person summer events with the Nelson Mandela Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI). Participants will meet in small groups to discuss a set of materials and their connection to evaluation practice. To that end, ¡Milwaukee Evaluation! will send participants a set of readings and videos in January 2021. Some of the materials will be required, others optional. Closer to the date participants will receive a few questions to focus their reflection and what the materials mean for their work. Anticipate 4 hours of reading/watching over a month and a half. The readings won’t be dry, and the videos won’t be boring, but the organizers do hope to cover these topics at a technical level, so all required materials will be rich and provocative.
To register for Part 4, click here.