Thanks for pointing this out, Kate Jessica Raphael. I agree that evaluating our tactics and programs is necessary and important but I think it has to be done carefully and humbly when it comes to social change. Methods need to be able to take into account the “complex calculus of social change,” in the words of Rebecca Solnit, because consequences often “go beyond simple cause and effect.” There are countless cases that might seem to represent failed attempts at change because the immediate objective wasn’t achieved but often in the long term, these efforts were successful in indirect and unplanned for ways. Here’s a great article by Rebecca Solnit on the topic: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/13/protest-persist-hope-trump-activism-anti-nuclear-movement. Thanks for lifting up this question of how to do the important work of evaluation and improvement for something as complex as change!

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Hospital chaplain, community organizer, writer. Shamelessly laughs at the same jokes over and over and believes there are gateways to holiness everywhere.

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Abby Brockman

Abby Brockman

Hospital chaplain, community organizer, writer. Shamelessly laughs at the same jokes over and over and believes there are gateways to holiness everywhere.

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