Utilization of a Racial Equity Lens to help Guide Strategic Engagement and Evaluation
Tuesday Full Day
Presenters: Paul Elam, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer, MPHI
LaShaune Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Creighton University
Mindelyn Anderson, Ph.D., Program Director, American University
Willard Walker, Public Policy Associates, Inc.
Workshop Description: The field of evaluation is being challenged to move from the traditional role of evaluation, and its perceived role of objectivity, to a process that considers who is being evaluated and who is conducting the evaluation. Over the past three years, Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) has worked to develop useful frameworks, tools, and approaches that evaluators could consider to focus on the ways that race and culture might influence an evaluation process; this has resulted in the development of a framework for conducting evaluation using a racial equity lens.
This workshop focuses on the practical use of a racial equity lens when conducting evaluation. The framework argues that culture and race are important considerations when conducting an evaluation because we believe that there are both critical and substantive nuances that are often missed, ignored, and/or misinterpreted when an evaluator is not aware of the culture of those being evaluated.
Participants will be provided with a Template for Analyzing Programs through a Culturally Responsive and Racial Equity Lens, designed to focus deliberately on an evaluation process that takes race, culture, equity, and community context into consideration.
Presenters will also share a “How-to Process” focused on the cultural competencies of individuals conducting evaluations, how such competencies might be improved, and strategies for doing so. This “How-to Process” is the result of thinking around developing a self-assessment instrument for evaluators, is based primarily on the cultural-proficiencies literature, and relates specifically to components of the template.
Participants will have the opportunity to engage in small-group exercises to apply the concepts contained in the template to real world evaluation processes. Based on these experiences, participants will gain practical knowledge on the use of the lens.
• Share strategies and tools to intentionally include a culturally responsive and racial equity lens in strategic program evaluation.
Paul Elam, Ph.D.,Chief Strategy Officer, MPHI
He is a skilled researcher with expertise in justice issues. He is a collaborative leader who brings an abiding commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity to his public policy work. Dr. Elam has a wealth of knowledge and experience measuring racial and ethnic discrimination and believes that sound public policy analysis should include an examination of whether all people are being treated fairly and equitably. Dr. Elam directed a state-wide evaluation of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Michigan Team’s investments and used the Template for Analyzing Programs through a Culturally Responsive and Racial Equity Lens as part of the evaluation design.
Dr. Elam recently began assisting the Annie E. Casey Foundation with the Expanding the Bench Initiative. This initiative aims to improve evaluation science and social innovation by increasing diversity in the field of research and evaluation. Dr. Elam’s work will focus on evaluators from historically underrepresented groups with evaluation expertise in the areas of child welfare and juvenile justice. Dr. Elam is also a certified facilitator for the California Brief Multicultural Competence Scale (CMBCS) Multicultural Training Program.
Willard Walker, Affiliated Consultant
He has extensive experience working with workforce development, state policy, school-to-work, and race and diversity issues. Mr. Walker has provided training on issues of inclusion, equity, and diversity for the Lansing Board of Water & Light; coordinated an Employer Conference on Workplace Diversity in the Lansing area; and assisted in a crime analysis evaluation for the Michigan Department of Human Services, Bureau of Juvenile Justice. Mr. Walker led the work of developing the Template for Analyzing Programs through a Culturally Responsive and Racial Equity Lens in his work for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Michigan Team Evaluation.
He has worked with clients to improve recruitment and retention of African-American teachers, including development of a coordinated recruitment planning process for urban districts. He conducted research to address the plight of young males of color in a project initiated through the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
LaShaune Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Creighton University
She is an experienced researcher of online learning among pre-health professional students, breast cancer disparities, adult and adolescent obesity, and pediatric health literacy among immigrant/refugee populations. She is faculty in the Master of Public Health program, and in the Master of Medical Anthropology program. She is currently the co-chair of the Metro African American Breast Cancer Task Force in Omaha, Nebraska, and is the co-director of the “In Search of a Medical Home”, a culturally sensitive, Muslim community-based educator project in Central Missouri, funded by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Community Research and Action. She is one of the contributors of a recently published textbook, Social Capital and Community Well-Being, which is being used by the Serve Here Connecticut academic debt reduction program. She is also one of the contributors to an upcoming edited volume on Black LGBT health issues.
Dr. Johnson has employed novel community-based methods to support Omaha’s Adolescent Health Project developmental evaluation (participatory video) and another method (Photovoice) to investigate health services for obese patients in Connecticut and Nebraska. For the Breast Cancer Task Force, she co-designed a peer educator/advocate program; this program is in its second year and is expanding to add training for patient navigators. She is currently a member of the Building Healthy Futures Evaluation Advisory Board in Omaha. She was a member of the inaugural Annie E. Casey Foundation LEEAD (Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity) program.
Dr. Mindelyn Anderson currently serves as the Program Director of the Masters of Science in Measurement and Evaluation at American University and is the founder of Mirror Group LLC.
Most recently, she completed a Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) Fellowship at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Her previous higher education appointments include Honors Faculty in Residence and Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northeastern University and Marilyn Yarbrough Fellow at Kenyon College. Dr. Anderson has also held fellowships at American Institutes for Research and Mathematica Policy Research.
For 15 years, Dr. Anderson has researched social inequality and stratification, race and migration, education and social mobility. She has conducted evaluations with community-based, regional, national and international non-profit, for-profit, and educational organizations. Her utilization-focused, participatory evaluation practice is informed by Culturally-Responsive Evaluation and values diversity, equity, and inclusion as integral components of high quality evaluation. Her scholarship has been supported by sponsors including the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities.