- Strategy, Evaluation and Learning
The gift of recollections is a powerful force for telling the stories of individuals who are involved in different parts of a journey, and for informing newcomers of the path on which they are now embarking. Collectively, our staff is made up of many cultures that celebrate and uphold the art of storytelling as a form of documenting our past, informing the present, and preparing for our future. PSESD partnered with Annie Laurie Armstrong of Business Government Community Connections to lift up collective stories of transformation toward becoming an antiracist multicultural organization.
These stories help us remember and reflect on our history, values, practices and experiences; lows and highs; day-to-day struggles; along-the-way experiences or milestones; and successes that mark our journey toward reaching our common goal. This is a living document that PSESD staff will periodically review, reaffirm, and add to over time. We hope these recollections serve as resources for all who are interested in learning more about the journey that the PSESD is taking.
Critical Moment contributors include forty-six people who were members of different PSESD Strategic Direction Action Team (SDAT) workgroups; Executive Leadership Team; and the Transformation Team). Nine individuals attended sessions with more than one workgroup. The groups were co-facilitated and documented by Sarita Siqueiros Thornburg of the PSESD, and Annie Laurie Armstrong, a consultant from Business Government Community Connections. The Transformation Team provides leadership for this body of work, which is staffed by PSESD’s Strategy, Evaluation and Learning Department.
Short reports were written and distributed following each workgroup to ensure that the documentation was accurate, and revisions were made as requested. The information collected from the above efforts is presented in this report by chronological order, noting approximately when certain critical moments happened. Some were described as spanning multiple years. Many of the reflections are shared using people’s own words. In addition, phone interviews were conducted by Annie Laurie Armstrong with six PSESD Board members to garner their impressions of PSESD’s journey, as they are vital partners in this work.
As expected all individuals perceive and experience critical moments differently. Some were mentioned by more than one person, and are combined in this report to create a more detailed account. Almost all were accompanied by examples of what shifted in the organization’s journey as a result. In this way, the critical moments were seen as pivotal by many to underscoring PSESD’s journey. Sometimes the events, or series of activities also included examples of philosophical or policy changes, or critical observations about the work underway.