1. Liberatory Learning Lab

What is the Movement-Defined Learning Project?

Timeline of Events

What makes this project transformative?
What makes it essential?

The Movement-Defined Learning Project began in 2022, when the BLMF and CTPF partnered with Social Insights Research (SI), a participatory learning and evaluation firm, to engage Black movement organizers in answering the following questions: 

 “How do movement organizers measure the progress and impact of their organizations and their movements?”

“What do movement organizers need from donor partners, in terms of relationships, transparency, resources, and accountability, to continue their critical work?”

The SI team, led by Win Guan, Ph.D. and Maya Corneille, Ph.D., developed a participatory learning structure founded on Liberatory Research methodologies. To begin the process, the team administered a survey to understand how BLMF and CTPF grantee partners have experienced learning and evaluation processes thus far, and to gauge their interest in participating in a series of Liberatory Learning Labs. The learning labs would serve as a space where organization leaders could come together and co-create new ways to measure impact. This preliminary survey received 23 responses from individuals representing 21 grantee partner organizations. Ultimately, representatives from 11 organizations committed to the project.

These folks named several motivations for participating, chief of which was to shift philanthropy by advancing “horizontal accountability structures and trust building with foundations” and building tools that are “relational, generative, accessible, in line with our values systems, center Black and marginalized people, and are not just transactional.”

Over the course of five months, this cohort of grassroots leaders gathered for a series of lab sessions to reimagine ways of measuring and sharing stories of impact; test, and iterate—ultimately leading to the creation of a new Movement-Defined Learning and Evaluation Tool.

Tool Flow Chart