October 2018 – FAB Meeting #6

October 11, 2018 from 6-8pm

UB backbone staff present:
David Harrington
Dionne Grayman
Jason Ludwig

Number of FAB members present: 19/25

Accomodations: Dinner and childcare provided



FAB members saw the following two conversations as crucial prep work to editing our Theory of Change and establishing measurable goals for UB’s work to be evaluated against:

  • FAB members discussed their experiences with education and systemic racism in light of a graduation speech from Harvard School of Education that came in the form of a spoken word poem, “Lift Off”
  • FAB Members discussed their aspirations for their children and changes that needed to happen in order for 0-3 year olds in Brownsville to “Lift Off”


  1. Introduce the Theory of Change to the group and its role in participatory planning and an evaluation process.
  2. Have FAB members reflect about the ways they and others in Brownsville experience systemic racism, particularly in educational and social service contexts.
  3. Build off reflections of FAB members to identify what needs to change for young children in Brownsville to “lift off”, or be prepared for educational, career, and life success.


  • Handouts including the text of “Lift Off” and the mindfulness activity, notes on Discover Together Brownsville projects, and the Theory of Change draft are available here.


  • Icebreaker :
    • Share with us one thing you’ve stopped or started doing to support you being a better you.
  • News/ Updates
    • Completing the Reality Check survey online makes it easier to collect and display results
    • Recap of PAT meeting–discussion about systemic racism that Brownsville experiences and the PAT’s desire to disrupt systemic racism and inequity through its work with UB.

Review of FAB Agreements

Theory of Change

  • The Theory of Change Documents how a non-profit’s work effects positive community change
    • UB Theory of Change needs input from the community
      • Today’s conversation is prep work for two things that are crucial to UB’s future:
        • Editing our draft Theory of Change to include community perspectives
        • Using the TOC as a starting place to elicit goals from the FAB (outcomes/changes they would like to see for their children) that will then become the measures by which our success will be evaluated
      • This is work that can only be done by the FAB, not the PAT or UB backbone staff. It should be responsible to the community.
  • UB’s draft Theory of Change, which will be edited/adjusted by the FAB at a later meeting, is below:
  • Mindfulness Moment (led by Naimah)
  • Discussion of educational challenges faced by Brownsville residents
    • Unequal Access to wi-fi
      • Jamar mentioned that Brooklyn Public library loans out hotspots.
  • Viewed Donovan Livingston’s Lift Off Video (FAB members also had copies of the text):
  • Discussed Reactions to “Lift Off” video in a series of guided conversations: Pairs (speaking for 5 minutes), quads (two pairs sharing their conversations with each other), large groups composed of multiple quads, and then sharing out as a group. All conversations focused on the following question and subquestions:
    • What is” lift off” for children ages 0-3 living in Brownsville?
      • How do we support children ages 0-3 in their own respective lift off?
      • What do they need?
      • When do they get it?
      • Where does that happen?
      • Who is involved?
      • Why is it important?
    • Some of the broader answers given verbally with the larger groups were:
      • Educating ourselves
      • African- Centered Learning (in the vein of the Montessori schools)
      • Respect and attention to different learning styles
      • Focus on black history
      • Learning that takes place outside of the classroom
    • The FAB then documented its conversation in the chart that appears on the next page.


  • Closing
    • The chart and the conversation centered on changes that FAB members would like to see in Brownsville and in their children’s lives.
      • These desires for change will inform the way we edit the Theory of Change at a subsequent meeting.
      • They will also be the basis for eliciting measurable and specific outcomes that families would like to see in Brownsville, which will inform our evaluation process. In other words, UB cannot be successful if we do not achieve the outcomes that families set for us — if we do not effect the changes they would like to see.
    • We were not able to spend time on specific next steps at this meeting, but we did achieve important work that will help move all of UB’s efforts along.
      • FAB members were asked to email, text, phone, or come in person by Monday 10/15 with updates about their own work on their Discover Together projects and with action items they would like to volunteer to complete by the November meeting.

Reality Check Evaluations

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