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In this monthly newsletter we share our noticings, seek to amplify important voices, and encourage you to keep asking big questions. Join us.

Same same, but different. 
SEEING THINGS ANEW

Issue Nº 2, January 2021
Hello fellow people!

Welcome to 2021! January turns over into a new year for those of us who mark our lives with the Roman calendar. Here in the North the darkness of the winter solstice affords a deeply reflective time. As the light slowly returns in our part of the world, we are focused on taking the next right step as we pursue growth, imagination, and new ways of being.

We have exciting new projects in the works and fresh insights from a research project our interns embarked on over the past few months. We are collaborating to design a toolkit for adaptive management of national action plans around the protection of children, starting a developmental evaluation in health technology, and developing opportunities to teach and share around curriculum design for behavior change. More on all of that soon.

The most clicked link in our last newsletter was about neurodiversity. We’re so glad you’re interested! We are beginning to write and share about our experience as a neurodivergent company. We also find that this year is opening up new energy around exploring and reflecting on our disciplines of design and evaluation, curating trends and sharing bright spots of hope. As always, our work, our lives and our world give us so much to think and talk about.

We are on a journey, working to unlearn, relearn and become more fully ourselves to offer up to this world. We hope you will continue walking with us.

In joy, 

Katrina  & Anna
 
Picture of Katrina and Anna in Lagos, 2016

What is emerging?


FRESH SEEDS & NEW SPROUTS

As designers, strategists and evaluators, we often turn our qualitative research skills of questioning, listening, and deep pattern recognition toward uncovering narratives. Frequently, it is through the articulation of an underlying or central narrative that a core belief or “truth” of how something works is uncovered—what is pulling so much weight just under the surface of an issue—and with these deeper insights we can more easily see what needs changing, what wants to be shifted, or what the next step needs to be.

As we dive into decolonizing our practice, the importance of narratives is popping up as central to how white supremacy, anti-black racism, and colonial power has been perpetuated and held in place. Once you begin to see it—the narratives that hold these hierarchical fallacies as normative—you can’t unsee it. We are reading, educating ourselves, consuming art, and connecting with others to actively strengthen our lens in this area.

A conversation led by Moky Makura of Africa No Filter opened us up to seeing our own untransformed narratives of “Africa.” As we see these narratives more clearly, we also see more clearly how we are complicit in perpetuating them and the enormous power and opportunity for each of us to contribute to collective narratives that counter white supremacy in all its forms.

FERTILE GROUND

Here are some fun, thought-provoking, engaging, and otherwise beautiful stepping stones we passed by this month. What might this plant in your life?

Katrina: 
  • The awareness of mutual aid as a viable support mechanism is taking hold during the pandemic and within the trajectory of BLM and antiracism work. Bloomberg CityLab published a stunning Visual History of Mutual Aid that includes a link to Mutual Aid 101 resource created by social justice organizer Mariame Kaba in collaboration with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We are the resource we need.
  • This month my commitment to “see beautiful everyday” is fulfilled by the twinkling lights on our office wishing tree, green plants growing against the whiteout of winter outside the window, and the inspiring work of Morgan Harper Nichols. Breathe it all in.
Anna
  • The Equitable Evaluation Initiative is working with funders and evaluators alike to unpack ways in which evaluation, cloaked in “objectivity” and “scientific knowledge” and “evidence”, is wielded on behalf of hegemonic norms that oppress and create inequitable conditions. Read a bit about how evaluation can perpetuate inequity.
  • Ms. Afropolitan. A stunningly beautiful collection of writing, art, and ideas by Minna Salami on feminism, Africa, popular culture, and social criticism. Feed yourself wonderful counter-cultural wisdom and narrative.
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Picture Impact is a women-owned small business.
December 2020. All rights reserved.




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