Speaking Truth to Power

Whether the origins of the phrase Speaking Truth to Power are an American Friends Service Committee’s 1955 pamphlet on nonviolence, a Quaker saying from the 18th Century, writings by civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, a speech by ACLU president Patrick Malin, or even plays by Sophocles or Shakespeare, it has been used by social justice activists, clergy, academics, journalists, politicians, and evaluators to describe taking a stand, speaking out.

Join your evaluation colleagues in a lively, critical conversation about the role of evaluators and evaluation in Speaking Truth to Power. This theme will be a main focus in the presidential strand sessions. 

As you think about how you might contribute to this important dialogue, consider these questions as catalysts for consideration about presentations, panels, posters, and even performances and other creative session formats for Evaluation 2018:

What responsibilities do we have as evaluators for Speaking Truth to Power? When? In what contexts or situations? With what consequences? At what risk or cost? To whom, with what expectations?

  • What is power? Who has it, and how can they best be influenced? What is the power held by evaluators and evaluation?
  • What is truth? Whose truth? How can we best discover these truths?
  • And, what is speaking? Whispering? Public pronouncements? Influence? Activism? And by whom on behalf of whom?

We look forward to engaging you in this important conversation at Evaluation 2018 in Cleveland, October 28 – November 3.