AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

CAT | Latino/a Responsive Evaluation Discourse

My name is Wanda Casillas, and I am an evaluator with Deloitte Consulting, LLC. I am a member of LA RED, the MIE TIG, and an alum of AEA’s GEDI Program. I have been privileged to be under the care of AEA’s community since I was born into the evaluation world. I have been mentored, nurtured and cared for by prominent, brilliant professionals who have helped me learn to navigate scholarship and the professional world, particularly as a woman of color.

In that spirit, I place great value on the role of mentorship for evaluators, regardless of their tenure or experience, who are learning to navigate culturally-situated programs- let’s say mindfully and deliberately culturally-situated, since all programs are culturally-situated to some extent. For evaluators of color, I want to draw attention to the idea that “excellence” for us is characterized not only by typical professional standards, but also by the addition of 1) advocacy and the promotion of social justice in our communities and by 2) actively seeking to work in our communities.

With this blog, I hope to encourage potential mentors to think about what these added demands mean for the training and development of evaluators of color. I often find myself questioning if this is a double-standard, and how I want to deal with it in my mentoring relationships.

Hot Tips:

Be patient.   We are asking evaluators of color to have two heads: the mainstream professional head that understands excellence and scholarship in evaluation and the head that focuses on community advocacy and challenges injustices. This isn’t an expectation to which everyone is held. Professionals new to this expectation will waver, question, and find his/her own way on his/her own time. Respect the fluidity and dynamism of growth through complex development that may sometimes appear as resistance or “giving up”.

Withhold judgement. Are we feeding into a double-standard that in its own way is a prejudice? I am reminded of president Obama. The country waited in anticipation and fear of all the social justice policies unduly expected of him merely because he was African American. Somehow, his ethnic identity was supposed to give him super powers to trump (a little pun intended) all social ills. Well, not every evaluator of color will wear both heads, and we shouldn’t expect them to. Strong, well-trained professionals and scholars of color are an asset to our profession even if they choose not work in advocacy and social justice.  It is still our duty to mentor and hone their skills and respect their professional choices. Well-trained people will do “good work”, and that will have far-reaching benefits for many.

Rad Resources: Lewis, K.R. (2014). Five mentor mistakes to avoid. Fortune Magazine.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Latina/o Responsive Evaluation Discourse TIG Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from LA RED Topical Interest Group members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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My name is Art Hernandez, Visiting Professor at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.

I was an AEA MSI Fellow early on and have served as the Director for several cohorts – most recently this past year. I serve and have served as evaluator and teacher of evaluation and am very interested in the processes of cultural responsiveness in practice especially in regard to measurement and assessment. As one of the early AEA members from a Latino background, I have been positioned to offer my perspective to others on all aspects of Evaluation and professional practice.

Lesson Learned:

In my case, the relationships I have established and from which I have derived or offered insight, etc., resulted from “natural relationships” formed by my association with those Latinas/os who originally sought me out.  It is also clear to me that whatever benefit may have resulted to others, I certainly benefited.

It was these naturally occurring relationships which provided the means to advance the cause of representation and leadership for Latinas/os.  Clearly, because these relationships were organic, there was time to develop a foundation of trust- that any implied commitment of support could be trusted, that the motivation to be of support, to advance and advocate was genuine and time to develop a means of communication which reflected shared values predicated on a mutual desire to continue the relationship (friendship) for the long term.

Hot Tips: 

  • Interested and invested individuals and groups can make a difference in defining and shaping the “success” of our peers.
  • For underrepresented individuals, it is important to seek out interested, invested others even if they provide no more than social support and evidence that full participation is possible.
  • For those already within the “system” it is important to remember that even if you take no deliberate action, your presence and attitude toward newcomers conveys a great deal about the nature of the organization and the likelihood of success.
  • Numbers matter. Increasing the representativeness of constituent groups so that their “voice” can exercise influence should be a priority.
  • Diversity is of value to organizations which can benefit from a greater reach, improved retention and performance, increased innovation, social relevance and improved morale and sense of safety for those from underrepresented groups.
  • Informal mentoring is as valuable as formal mentoring.
  • Social and professional networks are important contributors to individual and organizational success.
  • Mentors, especially those from the majority who serve protégés from minority cultural backgrounds, should be sensitive to comments and attitudes of others and seek to advocate and advantage their protégés in the face of suspected prejudice or bias.
  • Mentors should be prepared to learn as well as to teach.
  • Mentors should expect, encourage and support protégés to achieve success – even that surpassing their own.
  • Finally, every field of endeavor benefits from efforts to embrace and exercise cultural responsive practice. The success of these efforts will be determined in no small way by the inclusion of experts who have firsthand, natural experience and knowledge of other cultural identities.

Rad Resource:

Norman, R.L. (2011). Five Best Practices for Cross-Cultural Mentoring in Organizations

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Latina/o Responsive Evaluation Discourse TIG Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from LA RED Topical Interest Group members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

¡Hola!/Hello! My name is Norma Martínez-Rubin and I am a bilingual health educator and program evaluator. I’ve had the privilege of being considered a liaison by program administrators interested in engaging their Latino/a, Spanish-speaking constituencies for program development and/or improvement. By designing linguistically appropriate surveys and focus groups on collaborative projects, my evaluation colleagues and I have come to better understand health related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of monolingual, low-income Spanish speakers. At least one of us has served to narrow the language gap between program designers and their target populations. But it’s been all of us who’ve recognized the value of incorporating once “hard-to-reach” Spanish-speaking communities by intentionally including a bilingual and bicultural evaluator on an evaluation team.

When we learn a professional discipline’s vocabulary we gain entry into it. With conscious effort, years of practice and ongoing skills development enable us to accurately recognize our profession’s lingo, application, and contextual significance. Similarly, to be useful, native and foreign language skills require ongoing exposure and study of the origin of words, shifts in word meaning, and the nuances of regional dialects. An appreciation of diction and speakers’ intonations — the matters of speech and expression that characterize individuals and, by extension, the cultural subgroups with whom they affiliate — broadens our communications.

Evaluators often must negotiate the development of data-collection instruments so they concurrently make sense to the program team and the communities of interest.  In those instances, bilingual/bicultural evaluators aim to accurately identify appropriate and misused wording in evaluation protocols, consequent surveys, and discussion guides. Doing so prevents costly mistakes of data interpretation and misuse.

Lessons Learned:

  • “Como te ven te tratan.” This Spanish expression is about judging someone by their appearance as a clue to their intellectual and socioeconomic status rather than with a true understanding from personally engaging them beyond superficial interaction. Learn it, but act beyond its meaning. Recall, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
  • Latino/a evaluators’ technical and communication skills are built from formal and informal experiences. Evaluation techniques, language skills, and adherence to cultural practices vary. They may not all be equally personally developed, nor might we choose to use them. By respecting each other’s professional contributions, we create opportunities for genuine and fruitful collegial relationships among peers.
  • Bilingual/bicultural skills are means to expand evaluators’ views into the lives of others, served by publicly funded programs for example, which might otherwise be untapped resources for program or service design, development, and improvement. Expand your professional network to include colleagues who are eager to share those skills along with personal and professional insights.
  • Bilingual/bicultural evaluators do more than translate language. They couple their technical and linguistic skills for culturally responsive evaluation that enriches program design and development. We’re keen on acknowledging that culture is composed of more than demographic variables. 

Rad Resources:

  • The American Evaluation Association’s Latino/a Responsive Evaluation Discourse Topical Interest Group is an evaluation resource. ¡Te esperamos!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Latina/o Responsive Evaluation Discourse TIG Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from LA RED Topical Interest Group members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hello! I’m Silvia Mazzula, Counseling Psychologist, Associate Professor at John Jay College and the founding director of the Latina Researchers Network (LRN) –  a research-based and multidisciplinary network with over 3,000 members nationwide.

Over the past five years, I have led LRN’s design, incubation and evaluation efforts. The purpose of LRN is to increase the number of historically underrepresented populations, particularly Latinas, in advanced research careers and in the professoriate. For the recent IUPLR Siglo XXI conference, my colleague Josephine Serrata and I presented LRN’s conceptual framework and key lessons that have emerged, that both support and expand existing efforts relevant to workforce diversity and retention and recruitment of under-represented minority (URM) populations.

Lessons Learned:

  • Discrimination, institutional racism, and being the “only one” create both personal and professional challenges that impact upward mobility, overall career satisfaction and sense of belonging.
  • Culturally responsive and relevant networks are critical to reducing isolation and alienation – both of which are documented to impact mental health and well-being.
  • “Sharing” personal narratives and attending to the social, cultural and political realties of URM populations are critical for URMs in predominantly White intuitions.
  • Conceptualized as a professional affinity group – that is, groups of individuals who have a shared interest and purpose, LRN targets three overall areas:
    • Social capital, as a collective and intentional sharing of resources, knowledge and tools to support others, is necessary to URM’s success. LRN transmits social capital in the way of of knowledge transfer through its programming (e.g., conferences), opportunities for established and renowned members to connect, collaborate and share information (e.g., soft skills such as navigating institutional cultures) with junior members, and opportunities (e.g., regional social hours) for peer-to-peer transfer of social capital, across disciplines.
    • Community as a way of uplifting, supporting and validating professional interests and personhood, improves URM’s experiences. LRN provides various opportunities for building community, and also leverages senior members, who serve as LRN’s madrinas(godmothers), to bridge the gap in access to those who “have made it” – which provides relatable faces and expands images of success.
    • Access bridges the gap in barriers to upward mobility. LRN includes deliberate attention to improving access to role models, tangible resources and information (e.g., funding, scholarships, etc.). LRN also leverages social media to promote its members’ accomplishments and work (e.g., conference presentations, scholarly papers, awards), and to also increase access and exposure to advanced research and evaluation careers.

The need to develop and retain a diverse labor force of researchers, evaluators and scholars who can inform culturally relevant services, practice and evaluation is widely noted.  LRN’s focus on improving social capital, community and access offers a promising approach to increase and support the pipeline, to advance knowledge across disciplines relevant to service needs of the Latino community, and to position scholars, researchers and evaluators to take on key leadership or decision-making roles, particularly Latinas who are grossly underrepresented across leadership landscape.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Latina/o Responsive Evaluation Discourse TIG Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from LA RED Topical Interest Group members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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I am Leah C. Neubauer with the Program in Public Health at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.  I serve as Past-President of the Chicagoland Evaluation Association (CEA) and the co-chair of AEA’s Local Affiliate Collaborative (LAC). This posts revisits LatCrit Theory as a framework for advancing Latino-focused evaluation dialogues and scholarship.   Hot Tips and Rad Resources are shared below.

Hot Tip:

What is LatCrit?   LatCrit is a theory which considers issues of concern to Latinas/os such as immigration, language rights, bi-lingual schools, internal colonialism, sanctuary for Latin American refugees, multi-identity, and census categories for “Hispanics”.

Is LatCrit like Critical Race Theory? LatCrit has been described as a natural outgrowth of critical race theory (CRT), but not as mutually exclusive.  Yosso, Villalpando, Delgado-Bernal & Solorzano (2001) describe LatCrit scholarship as a framework that addresses racism and its accompanying oppressions, drawing on CRT, but highlighting an intersectional experience of oppression and resistance and demanding conversations about race and racism beyond the Black/White binary.

Interested in furthering a LatCrit dialogue?   Plan to join the Fourth International Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) meeting September 27-29, 2017, in Chicago. Meet members of LA RED and the CREA community who are focused on these robust discussions.

Rad Resources:

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Latina/o Responsive Evaluation Discourse TIG Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from LA RED Topical Interest Group members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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¡Saludos! I am Lisa Aponte-Soto co-chair of the Latina/o Responsive Evaluation Discourse (LA RED) TIG, AEA GEDI alumni, and National Program Deputy Director of RWJF New Connections at Equal Measure. This week LA RED highlights ways to advance the presence and leadership of Latinx evaluators and researchers in AEA to foster culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) theory and practice with a Latinx lens.

Latinx currently comprise 16% of the U.S. population and are projected to comprise one-third of Americans by 2050 (U.S. Census, 2010). Meeting the needs of a booming Latinx community calls for investing recruiting, training, and retaining a diverse workforce. Despite efforts to build a pipeline, Latinx continue to be underrepresented across the field of evaluation accounting for approximately 5% of AEA members.

What does it take to “become” a Latinx leader? Outside of the nature versus nurture paradigm, leadership takes courage. It also takes a high level of commitment and responsibility to represent an entire community when we take stock of the heterogeneity across the Latinx community. Culture plays a significant role in the leadership development of Latinx professionals. A value for collectivism and staying connected with community help establish strong partnerships, networks, and connections that enhance work productivity, program outcomes, and sociopolitical acumen. Bilingualism and biculturalism further enrich these contributions.

Gaps along the continuum of the Latinx leadership pipeline create a void in cultural understandings and empathy for Latinx issues; and, further perpetuate discord in the workplace and in communities served. It is necessary to continue to challenge hegemonic paradigms and explore critical race theory and LatCrit paradigms rooted in democratic principles of social justice and advocacy.

Another challenge for Latinx to move into positions of leadership lies in overcoming issues of discrimination, racism, isolation, and tokenism. Navigating a landscape different than your own can be intimidating, particularly if you lack visible leaders who look like you. Being grounded in your cultural identify, mentoring relationships, and a strong social network can mitigate these challenges.

Hot Tips for Emerging Leaders

  • Find a Mentor – Latinx senior leadership in AEA can serve as padrinos and madrinas (i.e., godparents) role models, mentors, coaches, and sponsors who are integral to the professional development of novice Latinx evaluators. Anyone can serve as a mentor as long as they are willing to invest in supporting emerging Latinx evaluators.
  • Join a Network – When Latinx enter leadership pathways accidentally, building social capital offers a valuable support system for career success. There are additional support networks and training opportunities available through the Latina Researchers Network.
  • Volunteer – Volunteering to chair a TIG, serving on an AEA committee, or running for board leadership can help expand your evaluator network while developing your leadership skills.
  • Seek Additional Training – AEA offers opportunities for emerging evaluators of color to acquire formal/experiential training including the Graduate Education Diversity Internship program and the Minority Serving Institution Fellowship.

LA RED is a space for evaluators working collaboratively with/for Latina/o communities regardless of their personal racial-ethnic background. To join the discourse, please email us at lared.tig@gmail.com.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Latina/o Responsive Evaluation Discourse TIG Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from LA RED Topical Interest Group members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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This is part of a two-week series honoring our living evaluation pioneers in conjunction with Labor Day in the USA (September 5).

My name is Andrea Guajardo, MPH, and I am the Director of Community Health at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio, Texas. I am also the co-Chair of the Multiethnic Issue in Evaluation (MIE) TIG and a founding member of the LA RED TIG.

Why I chose to honor this evaluator:

LA RED honors Mariana Enriquez, PhD as a Living Pioneer in Evaluation for her significant contributions to AEA and to her evaluation discipline. As a Program Evaluation Consultant, her work focuses on education and public health programs across Colorado.

Mariana was born and raised in Mexico City as one of seven siblings. She began her evaluation career in the United States as Program Director for a small non-profit while exploring the impact of parenting classes on Spanish and English-speaking families. This early experience in evaluation led to a deeper pursuit of evaluation as a career, and in doing so, has blazed a trail for Latinx evaluators and for those practicing evaluation in Latinx communities.

As a bilingual and bicultural evaluator, she has native knowledge of the communities in which she works and functions as a bridge – un puente – to the wider, mainstream community. Her perspective informs the unique discipline of Latinx evaluation and provides cultural translation and understanding between these two communities.

Mariana has been a member of the AEA Committee on Honors and Awards (2012 -2014) and was its 2013 Chair. She also served as Chair of the Pipeline Students program at AEA in 2008, and is currently a member of the American Journal of Evaluation Editorial Advisory Board. Her mentorship of the LA RED TIG provides support for continued personal and professional development of Latinx evaluators at AEA.

As an Independent Consultant, Mariana’s current work includes STEM and English Language Learning Education at local universities in Colorado and with a communications agency conducting a state-wide public health campaign. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Science, and the Department of Human Services.

Rad Resources:

Get Involved: To learn more about evaluation theory and practice by, for and with Latinx communities join LA RED by emailing lared.tig@gmail.com.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Labor Day Week in Evaluation: Honoring Evaluation’s Living Pioneers. The contributions this week are tributes to our living evaluation pioneers who have made important contributions to our field and even positive impacts on our careers as evaluators. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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This is part of a two-week series honoring our living evaluation pioneers in conjunction with Labor Day in the USA (September 5).

I’m Saúl I. Maldonado, assistant professor of education at San Diego State University, AEA GEDI alumnus, and co-chair of LA RED TIG .

Why I chose to honor this evaluator:

LA RED honors Debra Joy Pérez, PhD, Chief Measurement, Evaluation and Learning Officer of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for contributing to the philanthropy sector and fostering equitable practices as an organizational leader and evaluation pioneer.

Philanthropy

Across multiple foundations, Debra has emphasized the value of learning from investments and how impact is measured. At Moore Foundation, Debra has the responsibility of applying her management competencies in research, evaluation and learning on diverse portfolios and initiatives from international environmental conservation initiatives in the Amazon-Andes to local investments in California’s Bay Area. Debra is dedicated to ensuring foundations’ investments make a difference in the lives of others and considers partnerships with third-party/external evaluators as a critical component of organizational accountability.

Equity

Debra self-describes as a gay womyn of color from a large family with a commitment to community. Upon completing the first master’s degree, Debra’s business cards included the George Bernard Shaw quote, “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.” A continuous commitment to our evaluation community is evident in Debra’s leadership support of equity-oriented initiatives.

At Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Debra contributed to the creation of a fellowship program that offered graduate students of color personalized training at evaluation firms. At Annie E. Casey Foundation, Debra launched the Expanding the Bench Network, a core strategy for increasing evaluators of color, as well as the Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) Program. LEEAD is a comprehensive initiative that includes coursework, mentorship and practicum opportunities at research organizations, think tanks, foundations and private firms for historically underrepresented scholars.

Debra describes equity-oriented evaluators as follows: “It is a matter of mindset, you can be a person of color and still ignore core concepts like empowerment and community-based participatory engagement; equitable evaluation is about explicitly acknowledging the social dynamics of power and privilege in all evaluation processes.” To assist audiences into translating equity-orientations into professional practices, Debra recommends reflection on the following Chris Boeskool quote, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, [equity] feels like oppression.”

Rad Resource:

Acknowledging that disrupting the status quo is difficult, Debra stresses the importance of interpersonal connections as well as the centering of purpose. As evaluators, “we must remember the words of Patañjali, ‘“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations.’ A rad resource that Debra recommends for reflecting upon our interconnectedness and purpose is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Labor Day Week in Evaluation: Honoring Evaluation’s Living Pioneers. The contributions this week are tributes to our living evaluation pioneers who have made important contributions to our field and even positive impacts on our careers as evaluators. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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This is part of a two-week series honoring our living evaluation pioneers in conjunction with Labor Day in the USA (September 5).

¡Saludos! Greetings! I am Lisa Aponte-Soto, National Program Deputy Director of RWJF New Connections and Director at Equal Measure, AEA GEDI alumna, and LA RED TIG Chair.

Why I chose to honor this evaluator:

LA RED TIG honors Arthur (Art) E. Hernandez, PhD for his leadership in culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) practices and commitment to diversifying the field.

Art Hernandez was Professor and Dean at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and Director of the AEA Minority Serving Institution (MSI) initiative. He has recently transitioned to the University of the Incarnate Word. Art has rooted his career in his native Texas, yet his contributions span across the nation.

His first evaluation experience was with a project for the Texas school district. The program staff viewed him as a researcher and saw no distinction between research and evaluation. Art began expanding his scope of work to different settings. Before long, he became a respected evaluator valued for his bilingual and bicultural lens. However, it wasn’t until he participated in the 2009 MSI cohort that he realized that he was conducting formal evaluation.

Art attributes MSI and similar traineeships for building his evaluation methodology skills. Equally, he accredits his lived experience and his perspective as a Latino as being critical to the quality of evaluation. His ethnic background and CRE training have also influenced his attention to cultural context in the work.

Art refers to culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) as an essential technical and quality-driven inherent value for all evaluation practice. And, he applauds AEA for being at the forefront of integrating cultural awareness and responsiveness in the field.

He also acknowledges the importance of AEA’s community of learning fostered through Annual Meetings and Summer Institutes, where he has been able to engage and learn with seasoned evaluators. In turn, Art values giving back to AEA.

A lifetime educator, Art is passionate about mentoring the next generation of culturally responsive evaluators. When invited to lead the MSI Program in 2011, he didn’t hesitate and continues in this role

As an active AEA member, Art is a founding member of LA RED, has served various TIGs, and most notably has contributed to the AEA Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation. Currently, he is working on an evaluation capacity building recipe book for community based organizations.

Rad Resources: Listen to his recent Coffee Break session, The Rise of Latinx presence, perceptions and contributions to notions of CRE and AEA.

Meet Art and other Latinx pioneers at Evaluation 2016, Senior Latin@ Evaluators Reflections on Culturally Responsive Evaluation + Design.

Get Involved: To learn more about evaluation theory and practice by, for and with Latinx communities join LA RED by emailing lared.tig@gmail.com.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Labor Day Week in Evaluation: Honoring Evaluation’s Living Pioneers. The contributions this week are tributes to our living evaluation pioneers who have made important contributions to our field and even positive impacts on our careers as evaluators. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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This is part of a two-week series honoring our living evaluation pioneers in conjunction with Labor Day in the USA (September 5).

¡Saludos! I am Grisel M. Robles-Schrader, of the Center for Community Health at Northwestern University and Robles-Schrader Consulting, Chicago, IL.

LA RED TIG is highlighting Latinx evaluators that inform the field of culturally responsive evaluation practice and theory.

Norma Martinez-Rubin, of Evaluation Focused Consulting, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and discovered her passion for evaluation work when a friend asked her to help with an evaluation project. Her bilingual (English/Spanish) and bicultural (Mexican American) background, as well as her formal education in the disciplines of public health and business administration inform her unique perspective.

Why I chose to honor this evaluator:

Norma’s interests in culturally responsive assessments and evaluations stem from a desire to learn about people and co-design evaluations that reflect their needs. As an external evaluator, she understands the importance of building and nurturing relationships. She employs qualitative inquiry approaches to help give meaning to the words and actions of the communities she serves. She is keenly aware of her understanding of Latinx communities, but is conscious of the dynamic and evolving nature of how these communities define themselves and their values and the importance of continual study.

While her culturally responsive approaches support organizations in identifying the most relevant evaluation approaches for their clients, she uses her business background to support the financial health of organizations. She identifies cost-effective strategies for implementing, improving, and sustaining programs and services that improve the lives of their clients.

For her, evaluation is an opportunity to “bridge her passion for public health with purposeful research to foster social change through systematic inquiry for organizational decision making.”

Norma has been involved with AEA since 2006. She has reviewed session proposals for numerous TIGS since joining AEA. She has served as Chair of the Independent Consulting TIG (2011) and Program Co-Chair for the Evaluation Use TIG (2012-14).

Rad Resources: Meet her and Janet Smith of Edscape Consulting at their upcoming session, Exploring Essentials of Culturally Responsive Evaluation among Independent Consultants, at AEA 2016 Evaluation + Design Conference in Atlanta, Thursday, October 27, 2016, at 1 P.M. local time (Session ID#1162).

Read her book chapter titled, Balancing Inside-Outsider Roles as a New, External Evaluator in Qualitative Inquiry in Evaluation: From Theory to Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2014). It illustrates how personal curiosity, professional training, and personal experiences can function as levers when designing and implementing protocols for focus groups and semi-structured interviews.

Get Involved: To learn more about evaluation theory and practice by, for and with Latinx communities join LA RED by emailing lared.tig@gmail.com.

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The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Labor Day Week in Evaluation: Honoring Evaluation’s Living Pioneers. The contributions this week are tributes to our living evaluation pioneers who have made important contributions to our field and even positive impacts on our careers as evaluators. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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