Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action

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The GEDI Legacy: Reflecting on Fifteen Years of Fostering Culturally Responsive Practices

Session Number: 2984
Track: Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: advocacy, culturally responsive evaluation, Evaluation capacity building, evaluation champions, leadership development, racial equity, Teaching evaluation, workforce development
Session Chair: Lisa Aponte-Soto [Associate Director of Community Engaged Research - University of Illinois at Chicago, Office of Community Based Practice]
Discussant: Stafford Hood [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]
Presenter 1: Donna M Mertens [Professor Emeritus - Gallaudet University]
Presenter 2: Tamara Bertrand Jones [Associate Professor - Florida State University]
Presenter 3: Frances Carter-Johnson [Education Data Scientist - National Science Foundation ]
Presenter 4: Dominic Combs [Graduate Student - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (I-STEM & CREA)]
Presenter 5: Leah Peoples
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Rodney K Hopson [George Mason University]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Hazel Louise Symonette [Program Development & Assessment Specialist, Emerita - University of Wisconsin-Madison]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Lisa Aponte-Soto [Associate Director of Community Engaged Research - University of Illinois at Chicago, Office of Community Based Practice]
Presentation 4 Additional Author: Tyra Good [Duquesne University]
Presentation 5 Additional Author: Monique Liston [Chief Strategic Officer - Ubuntu Research and Evaluation]
Time: Nov 10, 2017 (01:45 PM - 03:15 PM)
Room: Coolidge

Abstract 1 Title: A Framework for the Development of the GEDI Program: A Diversity Initiative to Foster Culturally Responsive Evaluators
Presentation Abstract 1:

The purpose of this presentation is to provide a historical framing for the development of the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA’s) Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) program as an outgrowth of the AEA’s Building Diversity Initiative (BDI). This presentation provides historical documentation of the AEA’s BDI and the origins of the GEDI program and discusses how this represents an important part of AEA’s history. We discuss the circumstances that led up to the decision to begin the BDI, the organizational dynamics of bringing about the changes that BDI and GEDI stimulated in AEA and the evaluation profession, and the implications of this process for AEA’s evolution as a culturally responsive organization.


Abstract 2 Title: Learning From Others: Using the GEDI Program to Build a Sustainable Pipeline of Culturally Responsive Evaluators
Presentation Abstract 2:

The Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) program was designed to provide intentional opportunities for evaluation training, mentoring, leadership development, and funding for new evaluators from underrepresented populations, including new evaluators of color. The preparation from the GEDI program provided at the graduate level, impacts emerging evaluators’ ability to conduct sound evaluation and integrate culturally responsive evaluative thought into their evaluation practice. The emphasis on developing individuals with not only evaluation competency, but the skills to navigate various cultural settings ensures the continued and improved quality of evaluation. The program signifies a commitment to creating an evaluation community that is reflective of our society at large. In this presentation, I will describe how learning about the field from those that practice in it gives credence to personal experience, helps to inform future evaluation practice, and provides a whole new avenue for cultivating more culturally responsive evaluators. 


Abstract 3 Title: Perspectives from GEDI Alumni on Sustaining the GEDI Pipeline
Presentation Abstract 3:

The GEDI program’s contributions to the field of evaluation and applications of CRE to other fields are well-represented in journal articles, book chapters, and special journal issues (Carter-Johnson et al., 2016; Hood, Hopson, and Kirkhart, 2015; Aponte-Soto, et al., 2014; Collins and Hopson, 2014; Mertens and Stewart, 2013). However, additional focus on building scholar networks, chronicling the contributions and applications from the GEDI program to evaluation research and practice as well as program growth and sustainability are the most important next steps. This presentation will offer contributions from two GEDI alumni and their insights into the sustainability of the program from the perspective of their current roles as evaluation leaders in federal, foundation, and evaluation organizations.


Abstract 4 Title: Sustaining GEDI through the Implementation of Culturally Responsive Curriculum & Instruction
Presentation Abstract 4:

The GEDI curriculum framework aims to develop strong evaluation capacities of evaluators of color based on theories of “social justice and social change within evaluation literature, with attention to underserved and unrecognized populations” (Collins, Kirkhart, Brown, 2014, p. 24). The curricula focus is two-fold: the use of instructional modalities (i.e., seminars and workshops) to increase the knowledge capacities of GEDI scholars, and leadership development via mentoring, advising, and community/ relationship building. In alignment with the American Evaluation Association recent development of standards for evaluator competencies, GEDI administrators and alumni must discuss in depth how our curricula and materials will build capacity in these primary areas. This session will promote critical discussion about redesigning activities, goals, objectives, and benchmarks that are measurable. Overall, the GEDI community will consider the changing roles, experiences, knowledge, and organizational (intern site needs) that must be developed, assessed, and addressed to promote and create GEDI scholars.


Abstract 5 Title: A Vision for Sustaining GEDI & Alumni
Presentation Abstract 5:

GEDI is a one-year program that provides scholars with evaluation experiences and opportunities to be involved in a burgeoning community of culturally responsive evaluators. This session focuses on sustaining these emerging evaluators both within the American Evaluation Association and in the field of evaluation at large. This year, GEDI alumni created the GEDI TIG with two main goals in mind, (a) to continue the advancement of GEDI scholars and alumni beyond GEDI, and (b) to challenge the field of evaluation to make systemic changes that meaningfully integrate issues of cultural responsiveness and diverse leadership. This session will discuss the development and goals of the GEDI TIG.


Theme: Learning to Enhance Evaluation
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

The American Evaluation Association’s Graduate Education and Diversity Internship (GEDI) program is rooted on democratic principles of social justice and critical race theory to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the evaluation field. The program builds a pool of culturally responsive evaluators by training and mentoring graduate students of color. The GEDI program has an established cadre of scholars currently working in the field of evaluation advancing DEI and culturally relevant practices. This panel will revisit and reflect on fifteen of the program’s legacy and contributions to the field through the voices of GEDI champions: its alumni, program directors, and mentors. Presenters will share a historical account of the program as well as personal and professional experiences and challenges with incorporation an equity lens in evaluation practice. The session will inform future directions for culturally responsive evaluation utilization, evaluation capacity building, and the sustainability the GEDI diversity initiative. 



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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 16, 2017. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 16, 2017 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2017, international attendees and presenters who encounter complications due to the international travel environment will have up to 30 days after the event to request a refund and submit appropriate documentation. No administrative fee will apply for the international requests. The $50 fee will be waived for registrants who planned to travel into the US and experienced international travel issues.