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Utilization of a Culturally Responsive and Racial Equity Lens to help Guide Strategic Engagement and Evaluation

Mindelyn Anderson, PhD, Mirror Group LLC
Kristine Andrews, PhD, Child Trends
Paul Elam, PhD, MPHI
Tracy Hilliard, PhD, MPHI
LaShaune Johnson, PhD, Estella Lucia Evaluation LLC


The field of evaluation is being challenged to utilize a process that considers who is being evaluated and who is conducting the evaluation. MPHI 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 culturally responsive and 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.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define structural racism and distinguish it from other forms of racism.
  • Introduce the rationale for using a race-conscious approach in evaluation.
  • Begin the discussion on how an understanding of structural racism and the intentional inclusion of a racial equity lens transforms the composition of the evaluation team, evaluation process, methods & approaches, and rigor & quality.
  • Share examples of lessons learned using a racial equity lens.

Facilitator Experience:
Mindelyn Anderson is the Founder + Principal of Mirror Group LLC, a consulting firm that leverages partnerships with fellow evaluators, researchers, subject matter experts, and change makers to bring collaborative, participatory, utilization-focused evaluation and capacity-building to communities and learning organizations. She earned her doctorate in Sociology from The Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree in Sociology with minors in Anthropology and Policy Studies from UCLA.

Kristine Andrews is Director of Youth Development, Director of Racial Equity and a Senior Research Scientist at Child Trends. She is also the co-founder of Ideas to Impact, a social science policy and research consulting firm. She earned her PhD in Family and Child Ecology from Michigan State University. Dr. Andrews is a qualitative researcher and evaluator with extensive experience managing large, multi-component implementation evaluations and technical assistance (TA) projects. Since 2006, she has collaborated with communities and organizations performing research, evaluation, or capacity building activities in various fields including adolescent health, positive youth development, and social and emotional learning.

Paul Elam is Chief Strategy Officer at MPHI where he is responsible for aligning the priorities of MPHI with national interests as well as diversifying the Institute’s portfolio to address cutting edge issues that affect the health and well-being of our society. He is a collaborative leader who brings an abiding commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity to his work. His current leadership efforts include partnering with philanthropy and universities to mentor and train professionals from historically underrepresented groups with evaluation expertise in culturally responsive and equitable evaluation. This work aims to improve evaluation science and social innovation by increasing diversity in the field of research and evaluation. He also facilitates annual workshop trainings for the American Evaluation Association and the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment on culturally responsive and equitable evaluation. Dr. Elam brings a wealth of knowledge and experience measuring racial and ethnic disproportionality and believes that sound public policy analysis should include an examination of whether all people are being treated fairly and equitably.

Tracy Hilliard, is Director of the Center for Culturally Responsive Engagement at MPHI where she leads a $2 million portfolio of locally, nationally and globally-focused projects with her expertise in culturally responsive and equitable evaluation for advancing racial equity and systems change. She is a graduate of the inaugural cohort for Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) program designed to produce doctoral‐trained evaluators committed to advancing equity and social justice for children and families. She has led equity‐focused projects as a learning and evaluation partner for clients across the nation, including W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Kansas Health Foundation, Seattle Foundation, King County Best Starts for Kids Initiative, University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health, the City of Seattle’s Information Technology‐Digital Equity Initiative and Office of Economic Development, and City of Lynnwood. As a member of the Executive Team in the City of Seattle Human Services Department, she led implementation of a new data‐driven strategic plan for measurement and evaluation to address racial inequities and ensure improved outcomes for those served through the department’s investments in over 200 of Seattle’s health and social services agencies.

LaShaune P. Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Creighton University. She is also the founder of Estella Lucia Evaluation, LLC. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California-Santa Barbara. She was in Medieval/Renaissance Studies and Sociology double major at Wellesley College. She is a public health researcher who focuses on health equity, community partnerships, and cultural humility. Her primary research areas are Muslim maternal/child health, African American breast cancer disparities, and LGBTQ cancer-related distress. She is the Community Liaison for the Creighton University at Highlander Accelerator; and is currently a New Generation Fellow with the Place-Based Justice Network. She is a former Annie E. Casey LEEAD fellow. As a storyteller, she frequently employs arts-based methods. She has provided evaluation services to youth health, public education, juvenile justice/foster care, and equity projects.

January 21 & 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 3 pm (EST)

This workshop is capped at 40 attendees. Once you purchase the workshop you must register for the session. Recordings will be made available to registrants unable to attend sessions live. Recordings will be made available to all registrants for 90 days.