Aug 23, 2019
Dear friends, family, and colleagues:
I posted a few weeks ago on social media that I wanted to do soul-driven social change work as a teacher and a healer. So what does that mean to me?
I want to do work that is whole and driven by love, that can help others experience wholeness and love. These might sound like soft ideas. Easy ideas. Frivolous ideas. But they aren’t. For some of us, choosing love over fear is hard. Choosing love over hate is hard. Believing that we are worthy of love just because we exist is hard. Loving ourselves unconditionally is hard. For some of us, it’s easier to fragment ourselves than to feel shame and disappointment. It’s hard to heal traumas from the past, and traumas that are still happening. It’s hard to show our full selves knowing that we might be rejected.
I want to do work that treats the personal and professional as inter-related and entangled. Yes, healthy boundaries are important. But with soul-driven social change work, our soul is constant. It animates at work, it speaks to us at home. It is always there, at our core. We can’t fragment and leave our “professional soul” at work. So we must care for it in a way that lets us work with it in a way that is animating, restorative and inspiring, not relentless and depleting.
I want to recognize that we need to take care of ourselves and each other. Many of us are suffering and it’s on each of us to be responsible for our health and healing. But this isn’t solitary work. We are social creatures who need to feel like we are seen, heard, and belong. We need people to bear witness to our wellbeing and healing journey, always letting us know that it’s okay. We are still amazing, gorgeous, and loved. We need to be able to put down our burdens to rest and know that others can pick them up for a while. We need to be able to celebrate—experiencing joy with and through others.
Can I do this work as an evaluator? I think I can if I push on the boundaries of where evaluation begins and ends. If I place learning and adaptation for wholeness, beauty, and justice at the center of the work. If I take the word “value” in evaluation seriously, and use our values—translated into actionable principles—as the light that illuminates the shared learning journeys.
I am excited to announce that I am taking a step—no a leap—into that space with my new venture, Inspire to Change. Through Inspire to Change, I will work as a CEO, coach, teacher, healer, facilitator, and speaker to create learning spaces that welcome artists, activists, community organizers, and other social change leaders. I will position cultural and place-based knowledge as essential, even if it looks different than what is typically valued in Western culture. I will continue to build Creative Evaluation and Engagement with my beloved partner, A. Rafael Johnson, leading the work as the Director.
TerraLuna, an evaluation cooperative that I co-founded with other dreamers and doers in 2012 has been a supportive and creative space for me to learn who I am, to find my voice, and to piece together my vision. I will miss the TerraLuna community and hope they continue to thrive.
Andy and I invite you to visit us online, or at our new office. If you are so inclined, please help us spread the word! You can find us on social media o
n Twitter, Instagram, and F
@inspiretochang8 and @createevaleng.
With gratitude and excitement,
Inspire to Change
1375 St. Anthony Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104