Evaluation for Equity, Access, and Inclusion: the Evaluator’s Role in Truth and Power

Session Number: 1793
Track: Arts, Culture, and Audiences
Session Type: Roundtable
Tags: Anti-racism, Museums
Session Facilitator: Kate Livingston [Founder and Principal - ExposeYourMuseum LLC]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Tracey Williams [Guest Services & SRO Manager - Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Jessica Brown [Public Programs - Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Jennifer Evans [Assistant Curator - Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History]
Fourth Author or Discussion Group Leader: Charles Ferrell [Vice-President, Public Programs - Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (11:30 AM - 12:15 PM)
Room: CC - 12

Other Authors: Jonathan Jones, Museum Educator/Outreach Coordinator, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; Delisha Upshaw, Director of Marketing and Communications, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

The Wright Museum (Detroit, Michigan) is a community-centered institution with a mission to open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. Currently, the museum is undergoing a 3-year initiative to build internal evaluation capacity. As the museum begins this journey, staff is aware that evaluation can be a powerful tool-- one that has done good, but one that has also done harm. Evaluation can include and elevate voices and perspectives often discounted due to systemic oppression (e.g., racism, classism), but evaluation can also serve to reinforce oppression and misrepresent stakeholders and communities. How can evaluation be used to speak truth to power, rather than to reinforce existing power differentials? How might we best utilize evaluation to further equity, access, and inclusion? This roundtable session invites participants from all fields to explore these questions alongside Museum staff.