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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Dec 21, 2015
Category: Group dynamics 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

There once was a little girl named Folasi; she was lively and loved to sing, dance, run and breathe. She built a home for herself in the forest. It was a cardboard box with cut-out windows decorated with colorful paint and leaves. To her, it was a mansion. On the days in which a soft breeze would come through, she could sit in her home and feel protected.


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Oct 27, 2015
Category: Group dynamics 
Category: Racism 
Category: Power Dynamics 
Category: Antiracism 
Category: Inclusive Conversations 
Category: Tips for inclusive conversations 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

Tip #1. Open the door mindfully.

How a conversation begins is everything. It’s like not knowing what’s behind a door, so we have to be careful of how we open it. I’ve learned that to have an inclusive conversation, I have to be mindful of how I open the door to the conversation. I pay attention to what I say and the impact of my words and actions.


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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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Sep 1, 2015
Category: Antiviolence 
Category: Group dynamics 
Category: Racism 
Category: Power Dynamics 
Category: Participatory Leadership 
Category: Antiracism 
Category: What is an inclusive conversation? 
Category: Inclusive Conversations 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

Ever feel that having a conversation in a productive way when people have different perspectives is hard work? I've got news for you. You're right!

This blog is the first in a series of 13 about inclusive conversations. With three introductory blogs and ten topical blogs, along with the e-book that will compile them all, I'm focusing on ten barriers to inclusive conversations and 10 skills that can help overcome them.

What is an inclusive conversation and why do inclusive conversations matter?


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Jul 28, 2015
Category: Africa 
Category: Youth 
Category: Education 
Category: Evaluation 
Category: Ethiopia 
Category: Women and girls 
Category: SenseMaker® 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

In the PAGES project for Girlhub Ethiopia, in March 2014, we explored community attitudes about girls’ education. The Afar region of Ethiopia is predominantly desert; the population is predominantly Muslim and nomadic. Most Afar people live in mobile homes made of sticks, mats, and plastic covers that are gathered into a bundle when it’s time to move.


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Jul 3, 2015
Category: Antiviolence 
Category: Performance 
Category: Racism 
Category: Antiracism 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

Just before this groundbreaking week, I attended a four-day Theatre of the Oppressed training for facilitators. This was my unintentional preparation for a week in which the South Carolina shooting and less-heard burning of Black churches, the Supreme court upholding of the Affordable Care Act and Gay Marriage. Whatever side you are on, the mix of these events are making our opinions about difference in America slap us in the face.


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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. 


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Apr 29, 2015
Category: Power Dynamics 
Category: Evaluation 
Category: Participatory Leadership 
Category: Art of Hosting 
Category: Harvesting 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

I’ve been integrating Participatory Leadership practices with Evaluation for years now. It started simply as a way to bring two passions together. After systematic reflection, blogging, proposal writing, co-editing a journal issue (New Directions in Evaluation, Spring 2016), and teaching trainings on building the bridge between evaluation and facilitation, I have become a lot more aware of the critical importance of this bridge for evaluation practice in service to our changing world. 


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Feb 13, 2015
Category: Antiviolence 
Category: Racism 
Category: Art and Social Justice 
Author: Rita Fierro, Ph.D.

In the face of the media attention to police brutality and the failure of juries to indict the officers who pulled the triggers in the killings on Michael Brown and Eric Gardner, I cannot be silent. The issues are not new, but the media has now decided that they are newsworthy, so we are now inundated. As a white anti-racist ally, I feel the need to speak up on one aspect of white supremacy and the way it plays out in the United States against Black and brown people.


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