Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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(50) Utilization of a Racial Equity Lens to help Guide Strategic Evaluation

Session Number: 50
Track: Professional Development Workshops
Session Type: Professional Development Workshops
Workshop Lead Presenter: Paul Elam [Public Policy Associates]
Other Workshop Presenter: Willard Walker [Senior Policy Consultant - Public Policy Associates, Inc.]
Time: Nov 11, 2015 (12:00 PM - 03:00 PM)
Room: Grand Suite 3

Audience Level: None
Facilitation Experience: Paul Elam, Ph.D., President of PPA, 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 believes that sound public policy analysis should include an examination of whether all people are being treated fairly and equitably. He is an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment. 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 is working with the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice, the Michigan Department of Human Services, the Michigan Supreme Court, and local jurisdictions to reduce disproportionate minority contact in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Dr. Elam has been a lead consultant on numerous statewide projects, including the Michigan Coalition for Race Equity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice.

Willard Walker, Senior Policy Consultant, 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.

Session Abstract: 

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.



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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 6, 2015. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 6, 2015 all sales are final.