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Statement on EC's antiracist commitments

Updated: Jul 30, 2021

In keeping with our company value of integrity, we want our position to be clear both internally and externally: Emergence Collective seeks to break down systems of oppression, including those that have perpetuated violence against Black people throughout history. Our work is grounded in this goal from our internal processes and working relationships, to our work alongside our client partners, to our individual practice as professionals and people living in a racist world.

We know evaluation and research have been used to perpetuate harmful policies including those that have supported racist policing and mass incarceration rates. Evaluation findings have justified philanthropists’ prioritization of large, white-led organizations and have valued academic “rigor” over the reality of lived experience.

Violence against Black and Brown communities did not start with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or Ahmaud Arbery, but it must end there. As a collective, we are committed as individuals, colleagues, and community members to dismantle white supremacy even as it challenges our world views and especially as it makes us uncomfortable.

The renewed energy demonstrated across the nation over the last two weeks is encouraging, but we also recognize the long and painful work leading to this moment and the long work that lies ahead to change the systems perpetuating these injustices.

In this vein, we must hold onto this sense of urgency to uproot the systems that perpetuate injustice. Our team is constantly growing in the ways we engage in this work, including by developing internal equity practices and tools that ensure consistency. We invest regular time to revisit these approaches as a team (we’re happy to share more about these efforts any time if anyone wants to work alongside us).

Most recently, we have allocated paid time off to our staff to enable team members to take care of themselves as they experience the trauma of this moment. Our company has also contributed to the Detroit Bail Fund to support activists risking their safety in the face of police violence. This work is never finished, and any anti-racist statement must be accompanied by an ongoing process of internal and external improvement.

In this moment we see the world as we knew it changing, leaving space for a new world. As evaluators we take responsibility to build evaluation methods grounded in justice and equity that can be a tool for liberation.

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