Evaluation 2018: Speaking Truth to Power

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Speaking their Truth: Learning from Youth Evaluation Efforts in Communities

Session Number: 2489
Track: Youth Focused Evaluation
Session Type: Multipaper
Session Chair: Katie Richards-Schuster [Assistant Professor, School of Social Work - University of Michigan]
Presenter 1: Sara Plachta Elliott [Executive Director - Youth Development Resource Center-Detroit]
Presenter 2: Morghan Williams
Presenter 3: Jordan Scrimger
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Abhijay Kumar
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Katie Richards-Schuster [Assistant Professor, School of Social Work - University of Michigan]
Time: Nov 01, 2018 (08:00 AM - 09:00 AM)
Room: CC - 26B

Abstract 1 Title: Youth Voice in Organizational Change: An Example of Youth Driven YPQA
Presentation Abstract 1:

This presentation will focus on a youth-driven evaluation of program quality in a youth development organization. Many youth programs use the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA), or other program quality assessments. To try out making the process more youth-driven, the Youth Development Resource Center in Detroit, a capacity building intermediary, and Urban Neighborhood Initiatives partnered to empower youth to lead a quality improvement process for UNI’s youth programs. UNI youth design their own program quality observation tool to compliment the organization’s use of the YPQA. High-school aged youth were paid through the city’s summer youth employment program. The youth used the results to give recommendations to the organization for future program improvements. The youth are now serving on the UNI board’s Program Committee, further deepening their leadership and influence within the organization, and developed a video exploring “Why Youth?” are the focus of UNI’s neighborhood change initiatives.


Presentation 1 Other Authors: Mariah Bosquez
Alicia McCormick
UNI Youth Evaluation Team
Abstract 2 Title: Youth Voice in Community Change: Ypsilanti Youth Creating Change

Presentation Abstract 2:

This presentation will discuss efforts by Ypsilanti Youth Creating Change (Y2C2), a grassroots social justice coalition, to use participatory evaluation as a tool for youth-led social change. Y2C2 is a youth-driven coalition of youth leadership teams within existing community organizations in Ypsilanti. Since 2014, Y2C2 has conducted surveys and focus groups with youth in the community to assess needs, ideas, issues, and recommendations. Y2C2 has presented their findings to local policy makers, community officials and agency leaders to more systematically engage youth voice in discussions about critical community needs. This presentation will be led by the Y2C2 youth team and will share their approach to youth-led evaluation, their methods for increasing youth voice in the evaluation process, and how they are using their findings to engage youth voice in the broader community. They will also speak to their experiences as youth evaluators and the importance of youth voice in community change.


Presentation 2 Other Authors: Zeaira Chestang
Scott Phillips
Y2C2 Youth Team Members
Change Kwesele

Abstract 3 Title: Youth Voice in Regional Change: Metropolitan Youth Policy Fellows
Presentation Abstract 3:

This presentation will focus on the work of the Metropolitan Youth Policy Fellows (MYPF), a group of diverse group of youth working for a better metropolitan Detroit. For over four years, the MYPF engaged in a project to conduct a regional social justice assessment and to use their findings to create regional change.  Their assessment included a survey (N=1191) and eight focus groups (N=53). The findings were shared at a youth summit and subsequently were used to fund youth-led social justice projects in the region. The MYPF also shared personal narratives of their findings through a book project and a PBS town hall show. The presentation will share an interactive timeline of their work and highlight a toolkit created by the MYPF aimed at supporting other youth to engage in youth participatory evaluation and aimed at adults and community members who are interesting in listening to youth.


Presentation 3 Other Authors: MYPF Youth Team Members
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

This panel will discuss three different efforts by young people to use evaluation as a tool for community and organizational change. The projects (based in Michigan- Detroit, Ypsilanti, and the metropolitan Detroit region) highlight the potential for youth participatory work at the organization, community, and regional levels. The panel will be led by youth evaluators from each project, and will provide a space for them to share their work, their approaches, and their lessons learned. In this way, the panel itself becomes a vehicle for “speaking truth to power.” While each of the projects will highlight the impact of the evaluation on the youth participants, the panel will share their own experiences in engaging in youth participatory evaluation, the impact of their work on creating organizational and community change and the lessons learned for others interested in engaging youth in evaluation work.



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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 8, 2018. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 8, 2018 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2018, 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.