Inspiring People. Growing Organizations. Strengthening Communities.

News Updates

New Publication! Facilitation And Evaluation

I co-edited this issue of New Directions in Evaluation to bridge the views of these two fields. More



How will we write the next chapter of the story of race in America?

Using Art of Hosting and Conflict Transformation: An event in Houston, Texas.    More


New Results on Girls' Lives in Afar

Why is it hard to change attitudes about girls' education? Because in poor countries, it's more complex than you may think. Check out the results of this study funded by Girlhub Ethiopia More


Photo courtesy of Girlhub Ethiopia ©2013


Arts in Evaluation

My webinar on the use of Arts in Evaluation is now available online.  More


Rita's Blog

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Jan 19, 2017
Category: Antiviolence 
Category: Racism 
Category: Power Dynamics 
Category: Leadership 
Category: Antiracism 
Category: Inclusive Conversations 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

By Rita S. Fierro, Ph.D. and Quanita Roberson, M.A.

 We have work to do. The election of Trump has ripped the bandaid off our modern myths of justice, revealing the collective wounds we swept there after the Civil Rights Movement.  While our society shifted to a more inclusive society in the 1960s, fifty years of good intentions does not erase 350 years of horrific deeds. 

Our wounds have been festering for centuries, cyclically reopened by violence. We are now being called to face our demons and to heal more fully, together. 


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Jun 14, 2016
Category: Racism 
Category: Power Dynamics 
Category: Participatory Leadership 
Category: Leadership 
Category: Antiracism 
Category: Inclusive Conversations 
Category: Tips for inclusive conversations 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

When you take a stand, it doesn’t have to be you against the world. Taking a stand can also inspire a group to be the best it can be.

Until now, all the tips on inclusive conversations were about being receptiveasking questions, and listening. Today’s tip switches gears: it’s about taking a clear stand in the presence of flawed process.


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Apr 13, 2016
Category: Racism 
Category: Power Dynamics 
Category: Participatory Leadership 
Category: Art of Hosting 
Category: Leadership 
Category: Emergence 
Category: Antiracism 
Category: Inclusive Conversations 
Category: Tips for inclusive conversations 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

In the last blog, I listed a self-care tip for having inclusive conversations: choosing when and where to invest your energy. Inclusive conversations are conversations where differences are seen as a resource instead of a threat. These conversations can be tricky because differences can bring up fear, hurt, or anger.

Today's tip is also about self-care. If you're not taking care of yourself in a conversation, or hosting yourself, and being present, as the Art of hosting’s four-fold practice would put it, then it's unlikely that the conversation will be productive. Inclusive conversations are often hard and courageous conversations. So today's tip: Look for allies and build support before you jump in.


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Oct 6, 2015
Category: Africa 
Category: Group dynamics 
Category: Education 
Category: Racism 
Category: Leadership 
Category: Why invest in inclusive conversations? 
Category: Inclusive Conversations 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

Once we've decided that having inclusive conversations is important and worth our time, why is it important to build our ability to do so? Can't we just talk? What is there to learn? After all, aren't we just people?

 


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Sep 17, 2015
Category: Group dynamics 
Category: Racism 
Category: Power Dynamics 
Category: Leadership 
Category: Why Invest in Inclusion? 
Category: Inclusive Conversations 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

We live in a world where our experiences of individual and group differences are more expansive every day. As globalism, transportation, and communication make our world smaller, we gain contact with people of more different cultures, nationalities, sexual orientations, tribes, ethnic groups, professions, political outlooks, ideologies etc. etc. etc than prior generations.


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May 26, 2015
Category: Group dynamics 
Category: Participatory Leadership 
Category: Leadership 
Category: Emergence 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

If the term Emergence gives you a discomforting itch either because you don’t understand it, don’t value it, can’t work with it, or it sounds too woo woo for you, I have a fun and light suggestion that may bring your mental lightbulbs to life. Watch the animated film: Penguins of Madagascar. I’m not joking. You can watch it with your kids over the weekend, have fun, and no one will suspect you’re learning or working.