Why alternative pathways?
Social justice work predominantly takes place in communities of color, indigenous communities and other marginalized and oppressed communities. Evaluation education and training mostly takes place in institutions of higher learning that are firmly embedded in the norms and values of dominant elite cultures.
For many in these communities, formal education and learning has been a historically negative experience that today culminates in much lower rates of entry to higher education than for white folk, as well as lower rates of completion. There are also many other contemporary and historical barriers to education for these communities.
Against this historical background of impoverishment and negative educational experience, any educative experience has to be:
- Credible to these communities (looks and feels like them)
- Able to recognize and acknowledge the past knowledge and experiences of each individual
- Free of financial burden.
We envision an Institute that provides pathways for new, emerging, and mid-career evaluators that: 1) does not require program expenditure of money, 2) includes experiential learning, 3) honors methods and modalities from the communities that will be evaluated, 4) is built around the evaluators existing strengths, assets and competencies.