Get Clear on your Curriculum and Goals
You have an amazing but difficult role as a leader for an allyship club. It's important and there's so much to do and think about. With the amount of considerations at hand and limited time, it's easy to simply repeat whatever your predecessor did and/or jump into action without clarifying your goals and curriculum. Resist the urge to put your head down and start charging – spend a little time getting clear on what you're hoping to accomplish first.
If you're leading one of these groups, you already have an understanding of allyship's importance. Over the course of your life, you've learned important lessons about your own blindspots, how people are treated differently based on their gender and race, how having good intentions is not the same as having a good impact. Yet it's difficult to recall precisely which concepts you learned, or interactions you had, or stories you heard that pushed you forward on your allyship journey. Or in other words, how did you learn about allyship and how do you do that for others? It's a somewhat surprisingly difficult question to answer.
What does success look like?
Curriculum and goals are inextricably linked since goals are what you want to happen and the curriculum is how you hope to get there. To think more deeply about these two things, spend some time with these questions, especially in conversation with the women you're partnering with:
- What does an ally understand and how do they behave?
- What do you want members to have learned by the time they graduate?
- What segment of men are you trying to reach?
Once you've come to some conclusions about those questions, you'll next think about what programs, events, and curriculum will help you achieve those goals. The good news is you can use the programs, events, and curriculum available on this site that that best suit your program. Don't reinvent the wheel when you can invest that time into reaching more men with high quality programming.
Once you've chosen goals and curriculum, it's time to lay out metrics. Metrics tell you whether you've achieved your goal or not. The key here is to pick useful metrics without creating a big burden on yourself. With a few minutes of preparation, you can bring evaluations to all your in-person events. If you record attendance at events, you can keep a tally of how many men have come to your events. If you have a newsletter, it's easy to send a quick survey to your distribution list. It's much more time-intensive to try to do a stand-alone survey (with any statistical significance).
A few more thoughts on creating metrics:
Metrics can be quantitative
60% of men signed up as allies
Metrics can be qualitative
70% of men choose of 8 out of 10 or higher to the question "would you recommend this event to others"
Metrics can measure intermediary steps
Ask (via face-to-face or individual text) 100% of men in the program to join the short weekly email
Metrics can get creative
50% of a random sample of 15 women will remember a time when a guy brought up gender equity in class (measuring progress in understanding identity is a difficult, so creativity helps!)
Some other possibilities for metrics:
- Percentage of men who come to at least one allyship event per academic year
- Evaluation of individual events and programs
- Improvement on "diagnostic" surveys given months apart
- Number of men subscribed to newsletter (and open rate)