This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.
14 Jun, 2017

Try This: The A & B Conversation

By | 2017-06-13T00:39:55+00:00 June 14th, 2017|Categories: Workshop Design & Facilitation|Tags: , |0 Comments

(Image Source)

The A & B Conversation is a communication activity that focuses on healthy communication, conflict resolution, and gaining a different perspective on a situation. This activity can be used in a variety of settings, and today we’re going to focus on facilitating this activity in a workshop setting with adults and young people. This is even better if the participants consist of parents/guardians and their children.

Here’s what you need:

  • An even number of participants (for consistency, have the adult be Partner A and the young person be Partner B)
  • A timer
  • A list of scenarios ranging from conversations perceived to be easy to ones that may be more difficult, including:
    • Asking for money to buy an item
    • Failing a driver’s test
    • Sneaking out past curfew
    • Argument over discovery of a social media profile
    • Choosing not to go to college
    • Meeting with the school principal to discuss allegations of online bullying
    • Asking for the meaning of song filled with sexually suggestive lyrics
    • Finding condoms in jeans pockets while doing laundry
    • Asking if one was a virgin on her/his wedding night
    • Disclosing a pregnancy and having questions about terminating the pregnancy
    • Disclosing one’s sexuality
    • Being caught putting the date rape drug in a person’s drink

The steps:

As the facilitator, choose the scenario the partners will act out. Next, using the timer, have the partners act out the scenario for 2 minutes.

When the timer stops, reset it to 2 minutes, and have the partners switch roles. Have the partners improvise the same scenario, this time with the young person (Partner B) becoming the parent/guardian and the adult (Partner A) becoming the young person.

The follow-up:

After the final 2 minutes is up, have the partners process what took place using the following discussion questions:


10 May, 2017

Try This: The Journey Map

By | 2017-05-10T11:28:02+00:00 May 10th, 2017|Categories: Program Design & Evaluation|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Last month, I introduced design thinking, a process many nonprofits and community groups are using to generate engagement with communities. Empathy is the first step in the process, and the user persona is an outcome we can use to develop programs and services for the ideal communities we want to reach.

Today, let’s focus on the second step in the design thinking process: Define.

After creating a user persona based on the empathy interviews and observation we’ve conducted, we begin to define the problem we want to solve, based on the insights of the intended user. Let’s do this by creating a Journey Map.

The goal of a Journey Map is to give a holistic view of what a stakeholder is going through from their point of view. In the case of creating a program or service, having a variety of stakeholders (a potential program participant, a program facilitator,  and the program manager, for example) can yield insights into how a program may work from various perspectives.

Here’s what you need: 

  • A stack of large Post-It notes in one color
  • Two smaller stacks of Post-It notes in two different colors
  • Some Sharpie markers
  • White butcher paper (or a clean white board wide enough for multiple Post-Its)

The steps:

Let’s go back to the user persona we created:

This example is “Nicole”, a nonprofit worker that works at a nonprofit that provides services for formally incarcerated women. She wants to create an awareness campaign that teaches formally incarcerated women about the Reproductive Justice framework and teaches advocacy skills to help formally incarcerated women advocate for accessible reproductive healthcare, both during incarceration and during the transition process. Nicole has now been given the OK to create the program from the executive director. Now, she can work on introducing the RJ framework to staff to generate buy-in for the program and campaign.

Each person get a stack of large Post-Its and 2 stacks of smaller Post-Its (each in different colors) and a Sharpie. The larger Post-Its will be the steps, and the smaller Post-Its will be the “pain points”.

Next, have each participant map out the process of creating this program from their perspective. For this example, let’s have Nicole create her journey map by mapping out her ideal steps needed to create a Reproductive Justice 101 presentation for staff and steps needed to recruit staff to help develop the program and campaign.

Using the large Post-It notes, Nicole creates the following steps and places them on the butcher paper:


12 Apr, 2017

Try This: The Knowledge-Power Chart

By | 2017-04-12T14:56:57+00:00 April 12th, 2017|Categories: Workshop Design & Facilitation|Tags: , |0 Comments

This past weekend, I presented two workshops at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) conference, an annual Reproductive Justice conference held on the campus of Hampshire College. Outside of presenting my workshops, reconnecting with friends, and networking, I didn’t have much time for anything else. But I was able to attend one workshop, facilitated by Sahar Pirzada and Sadia Arshad of HEART Women & Girls, a national organization that promotes sexual health and sexual violence awareness in Muslim communities through health education, advocacy, research and training.

In “Muslim and Reproductive Justice: Empowering Our Community through Dismantling Stereotypes”, Sahar and Sadia used the RJ framework to make the connection between how stereotypes influence the lived experiences of Muslims. One exercise they led the group through, called the Knowledge Power Chart, was so informative that I couldn’t wait to share it. The goal of this exercise is the have participants examine how we understand the world, how our understanding of the world impacts our behaviors and the policies we create, and the real world impact these policies can have on our communities.

Here’s what you need:

  • A large space to write on, such as a chalkboard, whiteboard, or flip chart paper
  • Something to write with, such as chalk or markers (erasable, if you’re using a whiteboard)

The steps:

Divide up your writing space into three sections and label them like this:

Under the Knowledge column, guide the participants in naming the stereotypes they have heard about a certain group. Next, have participants name the policies they are aware of that are associated with this group under the Policies column. Last, have participants list the consequences that behaviors listed under the Policies column can impact that group.

Here’s an example:


8 Mar, 2017

Try This: Ask Better Questions

By | 2017-04-12T11:39:00+00:00 March 8th, 2017|Categories: Program Design & Evaluation|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Starting today, we’re going to ask better questions. Questions that allow you to dig deeper to unearth richer experiences. This is crucial in gaining a better understanding of why someone keeps (or stops) coming back to your programs, products or services.

When I say “dig deeper”, what I’m getting at is being strategic in how we ask questions. There’s a difference between asking questions that allow you to truly hear what someone is saying, and asking questions because you’re searching for certain types of responses.

Digging deeper, goes beyond “I love it!” or “I wouldn’t change a thing”.  People are coming back to you for a reason, and these reasons can help you enhance what you’re offering, and can also inspire you to come up with creative and engaging solutions to address other needs that you’re currently not addressing.

Tips and examples 

Good questions are:

  • Unbiased
  • Empowering
  • Provide a safe space for the person to feel comfortable responding to
  • Stretch the person who is responding 

I’ve highlighted the last point for a reason. Here’s an example:

Back in 2015, I facilitated a few focus groups for a client, a nonprofit that provides social justice oriented feminist leadership for young women of color. The focus groups were for the organization’s 6-week summer leadership program for young women of color in the New York City area. The organization wanted to know, among  other things, how effective the program had been that summer.

Okay, sounds easy. I did a few site visits during the 5th week of the program to facilitate the focus groups. I had my questions ready based on the evaluation questions the organization sought out to explore. During the first focus group, I asked “Looking back on everything you’ve learned during the past 5 weeks, can you share something that you would change?” Some of the responses I got looked similar to “I loved everything!” or “I wouldn’t change a thing” or “Everything was good”.

Initially, I chalked it up to the participants being teenagers. Then I realized they were responding this way because of HOW I asked the question.

So, I tried a different approach for the second and third focus groups:

Looking back on everything you’ve learned during this program, if you could rebuild this program from the ground up, based on your own needs and interests, what would it look like? 


8 Feb, 2017

Try This: Roll The Dice

By | 2017-02-08T04:03:36+00:00 February 8th, 2017|Categories: Program Design & Evaluation|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Last month I shared The World Cafe  as an activity you can use to engage participants outside of traditional means of collecting data. Today, let’s look at one activity you can use to guide participants in making sense of it all and drawing their own conclusions.

“Rolling the dice” usually means “let’s see what happens”. For this activity, it takes on a whole new meaning.

(Though technically, “making sense of it all and drawing your own conclusions” could also mean “seeing what happens”, but humor me for a bit.)

Here’s what you need

  • Two boxes that are roughly the same size
  • 12 sheets of paper
  • A marker
  • Tape
  • Tape recorder

Ways to use this activity 

I’ve used this activity in two ways: facilitating focus groups and data interpretation meetings.

Focus groups are generally used to gather feedback, and I’ve been asked to facilitate them as part of a program’s evaluation. In this context, each side of the die represents an evaluation question posed to the focus group.

In the context of a data interpretation meeting (also known as a “data party”), each side of the die either illustrates a piece of quantitive data (such as percentages from a survey or a report connected to the evaluation) or a piece of qualitative data (such as themes identified and coded from transcribing responses from a focus group). In simplest terms, coding identifies themes occurring across focus groups, informant interviews, observation notes, etc. With coding you can identify overarching themes as well as themes specific to the group or people in question, and this can be illustrated as a quote, percentage, etc.

Let’s create our dice

  • Take one sheet of paper
  • For a focus group: Write out an evaluation question you want to pose to the group
  • For a data party: Write out a theme you coded
  • tape the sheet of paper to one side of a die
  • Repeat for each side until all sides are covered

And that’s it.

Now, let’s see this in action