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MIE TIG Week: PROSE by Omar J. Salaam
American Evaluation Association (AEA) American Evaluation Association (AEA)
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Washington , DC
Friday, January 12, 2018

Hello! My name is Omar J. Salaam. I’m a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership at University of South Florida, and I plan to defend my dissertation this current semester of Spring 2018. As part of the MIE TIG’s week on AEA 365, I have written a poem about the themes unearthed within the AEA Race and Class Dialogues.
I’ve always been known as the one with good diction
Never as the one who would fathom writing fiction
Now here I sit
Trying to come up with some s_it
But the more I work on each verse
The more I feel I’m only thinking in reverse
Now I’ve come up with something I believe will please
Regardless of my recognition that its reality in 180 degrees
When my White counterpart and I were introduced to an audience for the first time
It was my words they focused in on as opposed to treating him as sublime
Later, when my White counterpart appeared on stage with a woman equal to the task
It was her words they automatically accepted, and him who they insisted to ask
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
It’s now them getting pulled over, for no reason other than driving while White
The greatest democracy that ever existed is so just and so fair
There’s no need for marching, kneeling and demonstrating at games or anywhere
And while we’re on the topic of how equal this world is
Let’s not forget how fair capitalism is
Well over half the world’s wealth is divided evenly over half the world’s population
And those who have the most, give the most not only in total summation
The world is so full of peace and love
That genocide, and war are never even thought of
Racism, homophobia, and xenophobia, are words that do not exist
In an alternate world where they do, I’m sure they must be pissed
My genre is not fiction but for this moment I’ve taken a tryst
I only hope I’ve made some points that most have not missed
As I think of those who write fiction recognizing they are pros
I’m not ashamed that I am not one of those
This took every inch of effort from my brain to my toes
As I hope I got my message across writing in prose
Hot Tip:
This poem uses proposed fiction as a venue to reveal existing realities unseen to those blinded by privilege. The intention here is to challenge readers to acknowledge the fictions they’ve created in their own work to justify evaluative practices. Evaluators should consider the various privileges that exist and how their privilege effects the evaluation and evaluation participants.
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation (MIE) Week with our colleagues in the MIE Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from MIE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

About AEA

The American Evaluation Association is an international professional association and the largest in its field. Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products and organizations to improve their effectiveness. AEA’s mission is to improve evaluation practices and methods worldwide, to increase evaluation use, promote evaluation as a profession and support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action. For more information about AEA, visit www.eval.org.

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