We exist to support change agents, disrupt systems of oppression, and cocreate liberatory futures. We want to help create a world where community knowledge is valued and coexists with evaluation to advance social justice.
At Coactive Change, we believe in leveraging collaborative and participatory approaches to learning, evaluation, and facilitation—that harness the power of collective knowledge and action—to support community-driven change and collective power building.
How We Move Through the World
We strive to disrupt capitalism, neoliberalism, colonialism, and white supremacy through our day-to-day practices.
- Continuously strive for a balance between rest, joy, labor, and praxis. This is a way to reclaim productivity and the systems that demand that we generate profit.
- Labor is defined as consulting and organizing in service of dismantling systems of oppression and disrupting the status quo. This change work represents a balance between reform and resistance that is more emotionally draining, with reimagining and recreating a different world that is more healing and energizing.
- Time for joy, rest, and praxis—the latter of which includes engaging in physical movement, relaxation, and having fun with people we love and respect—represents time to slow down, think, and act intentionally.
- What this looks like in practice is slower paced, reflective, and contextually grounded learning and evaluation projects where we build relationships with you, provide thought partnership, creative facilitation, and strategic guidance.
- We use learning, evaluation, and facilitation strategically to disrupt systems of oppression and simultaneously imagine and create new ways of practicing and being with one another.
Disruptive and Centers Diverse Lived Experiences:
We seek out a range of approaches to reflection, learning, and evaluation while challenging top-down, monitoring approaches to evaluation. The cross-disciplinary lens and diverse lived experiences we and those we partner with bring to the table ground us and drive our practice. For us, the distinction between professional and personal is a false dichotomy, informed in part by our belief that the personal is political, which means that there is no way to disentangle our personal experiences from systems of oppression. This also means that our personal experiences reflect the sociopolitical structures in which we operate, and our lived experiences shape and guide our politics and professional practice.
Holistic and Contextually Grounded:
We prioritize understanding the historical, political, cultural, social, and economic contexts in which we all operate. We believe that we cannot develop a holistic understanding of inequities and change efforts to address them without this context. Integrating historically and contextually grounded knowledge into all phases of our evaluations reveals blindspots, false assumptions, and ultimately creates stronger evaluations.
Collaborative and Participatory:
We coactively work with you to develop learning agendas that center the beliefs, issues, and questions you and your communities care about. And we collaborate with you to interpret information and make meaning, because we not only value diverse knowledge and lived experiences but believe this practice creates more meaningful and useful reflection and learning. We also enjoy participatory approaches to evaluation—meaning that we jointly share control of the evaluation with partners, but we decide whether and when to use this approach with partners.
We embed learning throughout our work together so that you do not have to wait until the end of a contract to glean insights. This means that we help you think through your big-picture, strategy questions to guide learning and evaluation because we want our work together to be valuable and useful immediately and in the long term. Our work goes beyond providing deliverables. While we do collect and analyze data, facilitate group conversations, summarize learnings, and conduct presentations, we also listen and sit with you when you need to talk through strategic decisions. We help you think intentionally about how to use evaluations and learnings that result from them to strengthen your practice, make pivots, and navigate times of upheaval and transition.
Reflexivity and Reflection:
Reflection and learning are woven throughout the evaluation process to inform strategy, decision making, and ongoing improvements, and in turn reframe our approach to evaluations as needed. And we practice reflexivity, which means that we examine our own assumptions, positionality, and privilege—and consider the context in which evaluations happen—as both inform our evaluation practice and shapes the form evaluations take. This practice is grounded in our understanding that evaluations and our evaluative practice is never neutral or value-free.
From Our Founder
Some organizers I support:
“The prison therefore functions ideologically as an abstract site into which undesirables are deposited, relieving us of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities from which prisoners are drawn in such disproportionate numbers. This is the ideological work that the prison performs—it relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism.”
― Angela Y. Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?
Current and Past Collaborators
We love working with other consultants with experience and expertise beyond our own. Some past and current collaborators include: