Cross-post: Reflections on Un-Learning

  • By Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, October 21, 2019

The AAEEP Inaugural Webinar

This post by Kate Seely of Northern California Grantmakers originally appeared on the Equitable Evaluation Initiative’s blog. Kate shared reflections and lessons from the inaugural webinar from the Associations Advancing Equitable Evaluation Practices (AAEEP), which GEO is a part of. To read the complete post, check out the EEI blog.

As a kid, I practiced all the time – piano, soccer, reading – to get better at whatever it was I was doing. I practiced. I asked questions. I got frustrated. Inevitably, with that one piece of sheet music, that soccer move, or the next chapter book, I found the way through, most times with the help of those wiser and more experienced than myself.

As adults, we invoke the concept of beginner’s mind, inferring that curiosity and a sense of ‘not knowing’ will lead us on a better path, towards better results.

Embedded in this invocation is the belief that our current practices are not getting us where we need to go. If we subscribe to that belief, then some of the most important acts that we can take, as individuals committed to social change, are the acts of un-learning and re-learning, in order to make space for more perspectives, and more potential solutions.

The Associations Advancing Equitable Evaluation Practices (AAEEP) came together earlier this year to support and advance the equitable evaluation field of study and practice. As a part of this commitment, we offered an introductory webinar to our members sharing experiences of two foundations, Kresge and the Oregon Community Foundation, who are testing the waters of equitable evaluation. With an overwhelming interest in the webinar (we sold out at 500 registrants 10 days before the webinar!), some of their learnings feel potent enough to share and begin with the value of practice.

Head over to the Equitable Evaluation Initiative’s blog to continue reading.

Interested in watching the full webinar, you can access the recording here.