This brave space was born of the realization that white supremacy culture was present in not only my lived experience in the world, but also in the norms I learned in my 15-year evaluation career.
While there are many brilliant resources to guide my personal antiracist journey, I couldn't find a place to unpack the jarring implications about my profession.
I needed a place to connect with other white antiracists coming to terms with the ways evaluation, research, and data have been weaponized against communities as part of an uninterrupted legacy of racial violence.
The purpose of this space is to do this messy emotional processing of dismantling our own internalized white supremacy culture without demanding further emotional and intellectual labor from folks of color.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion goals are valuable. Essential, even. But they don't:
Without these 2 pieces, we will spin our wheels forever.
Awakening to our own white fragility is tough enough. It rattles our sense of self.
Awakening to the uninterrupted legacy of white supremacy in the professions we believed were inherently promoting justice can shake us to our core.
And because it connects to our livelihood, reckoning with these truths can also feel threatening at a very practical level.
Much easier to throw in the towel, right? Plenty of folks will. Especially those who don't know where they can turn.
Isolation is part of how white supremacy persists. Dividing us is such an effective tactic for ensuring our complacency, our complicity. And shame is even more effective because, when we experience shame, we isolate ourselves voluntarily.
This is how white supremacy comes for us all.
We see our cooperation with white supremacy as conditioned, and we see a way through and a way out. And in the spot where we found shame, in our coming together we can find agency.
This path includes all sorts of white evaluators, researchers, and data geeks, in all different stages of reckoning. With any luck, it will include you, too.
This project would not exist today without a number of amazing folks. In no particular order:
The emotional and intellectual labor of Kortney Hernandez, whose call for the decolonization of academic service-learning, was a profound professional wake-up call. She planted the first seeds for this project. Collaborating with Kortney has been one of my greatest privileges.
The Mirror Group Accountability Circle facilitators, Mindelyn Anderson, Michaela Anang with LaShaune Johnson of Estella Lucia Evaluation, and Meredith Reitman of Reitman Research and I were on a call the exact moment the idea for this project finally crystalized as the culmination of accountability circling with them. We didn't set out with the intention to craft a caucus of white antiracist evaluators, but once the idea sprang up, there was no turning back!
This project would never have even been a twinkle in my eye without the tireless work of the founders, BIPOC-led organizational solidarity partners, bottom-liners, and dialogue participants of AWARE-LA, Alliance of White Antiracists Everywhere - Los Angeles, who showed up in their vulnerability every month for 14 years before I even knew they were there. When I finally recognized, to my horror, that my feminist, anti-capitalist, anti-oppression analysis was wildly incomplete without an antiracist lens, AWARE-LA welcomed me with open arms. They also helped me resist the seductive guilt spiral, steering me instead toward a vision of collective liberation.
Lastly, the founders, BIPOC-led organizational solidarity partners, bottom-liners and members of White People for Black Lives, the Los Angeles Chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) made this possible by encouraging me to push them to better integrate disability justice into their organizational culture, systems, and direct actions, and to speak up when I saw it lacking. It hasn't always been easy, but it has been fundamentally paradigm-shifting to practice naming that our movements need the people experiencing unmet access needs; to insist that we have insights and contributions and "wild disability dreams:" the kind that folks accustomed to having their needs met by the built environment could scarcely even imagine.
We are updating our plans to include rates accessible across classes.
This work takes all of us. We can't afford to miss out on the insights of the white antiracists experiencing poor/working-class conditions.
Select the plan with the rate that is accessible to you, keeping in mind:
Learn about "Why Class Matters in Organizing for Racial Justice." Questions? Please reach out via email.