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ACT UP - Evaluation Method


Before diving into evaluating sources, it might be helpful to write a quick positionality statement so that you can understand how you approach and understand your topic. Every aspect of our lives is impacted by our positionalities. Our positions on what is important to us and how our values shape our movement in the world are critical to building community, participating in active listening, and constructively engaging with folx who might not share our same ideologies. Sometimes we might not know where we stand on an issue until we sit down and think critically about it. For a lot of us, our privilege shields us from seeing and experiencing systemic oppression. White supremacy is so pervasive because it tries to be invisible. Positionality statements are one way to create visibility.

Another purpose of writing positionality statements is to see where you are an expert and where you are a novice. While some folx might disagree with me, I believe that we are all experts of something even if that something is our own lived experiences. The reason to write positionality statements is to map out what you are (un)learning as a person. When we
consider our experiences and expertise, we can identify what areas we need to invest more energy into (un)learning such as biases that came to light, misinformation or harmful stereotypes we played into at one time. The more information we have about our positions the better we are atnavigating unknown terrain with empathy and understanding.


There are numerous ways to write a positionality statement and a simple Google search will yield you tons of templates to start with. You can find positionality statements from the lens of a researcher, educator, student, etc. I created a worksheet you can use to get started on the brainstorming that goes into positionality statements. My worksheet is inspired and informed by the work done by Dez Alaniz, Archivist at the Presidio Research Center of Santa Barbara and the wheel of power/privilege image by Sylvia Duckworth. You can use both the who am I and what do I bring worksheet and the positionality statement worksheet together as they complement each other well or get creative and design your own. The most important part is doing the work, not the worksheet design we use. Positionality statements are not ‘one and done’ but something we revisit frequently as we continue to (un)learn.