The Network Center for Community Change's use of data to advocate for change
Last night I had the opportunity to provide color commentary to a talk Michael Poindexter, researcher at NC3 and all-around dude, did for a group of MBA students at Sullivan University. Michael spoke about the Network's use of data to make the case for change here in Louisville and around Kentucky.
As promised, here is the link to the presentation slides.
Preparing for and giving this talk gave me a chance to reflect on the role data has played in my advocacy—inside and outside the courtroom—first at Legal Aid Society and now at BCL. As I told the students last night, nothing in my liberal arts or legal education instilled in me an appreciation of the importance of data. Nor did my time in school prepare me for the challenges of determining what data I should collect, how I should get my hands on that data, or how to evaluate the data once I captured it. In the 21st century, that I was able to spend seven years in higher education and not have one data analysis class is harrowing. "Data" should be a required class at all law schools.
Hearing Michael talk also renewed my understanding of just how unique NC3 is as an organization. Here is a group of people who gather data—both quantitative and qualitative—from people and neighborhoods who have not had the political power to control what data is collected about themselves and their communities. NC3 then helps those same people find avenues to use that data to advocate for social and political change. I don't know of another organization like it.
If you want to support the Network's work, you can buy a ticket to go see Bonny Prince Billy LIVE IN CONCERT on Saturday, August 4. Mr. Billy is a member of the Network and is playing a show at the Kentucky Center to benefit NC3. Or, you can straight-up donate.