This year’s programming is intended to forward Giovanni's priorities as WE President of engaging evaluators meaningfully, particularly about issues of diversity and social justice, all while getting evaluators out into the city and their communities. We’re launching new types of professional development events, starting with our Deep Dive book club discussions, where evaluators read a short piece and then gather to discuss it. Sometimes the author will join us, as in our inaugural Deep Dive with Cheryl Abram, and others will be pure book club discussion. This event is designed to engage members more deeply with each other as well as with the latest in evaluation thought.
Another new event type we’re launching this year are Field Trips. Remember these from school? Field trips were educational yet fun and got us out into the world. Similarly, with WE’s professional Field Trips, we will learn about interesting programs around the metro area, starting with Pathways DC, a housing program. While we will not be evaluating any of these programs during our visits, Field Trips also present opportunities to promote WE’s Evaluation Without Borders program. Finally, as in previous years, we will continue to hold seminars to provide information on a variety of evaluation topics. However, this year we will highlight subjects that often receive less attention, such as teaching evaluation and environmental evaluation. All together, the variety of professional events will provide many opportunities for WE members to deepen their knowledge and grow professionally.
As for social activities and networking, we will continue to provide networking opportunities in a relaxed bar or restaurant environment. This year, however, we are holding multiple activity-based networking events, where evaluators participate in an activity followed by networking in a relaxed setting. Some activities may provide food for thought on evaluation issues, while others will be just plain fun. Look out for tours of museum exhibits relating to social issues, walking tours of neighborhoods, a knowledge-brokering game night, sport-spectating events, and our very first dragon boat race team!
We’re hoping members enjoy this year’s line-up of WE events and find them meaningful and engaging. If you have feedback on any of our events, please let us know. Also, we’re open to new ideas for WE events, so if you are interested in learning about something, giving a talk or getting feedback, or any activity at all, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Chiu is the 2019 Chair of WE's Program Committee