My name is Faheemah Mustafaa, and I am a doctoral candidate in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan, and alumna of AEA’s Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI). During my internship at Public Policy Associates, Inc., we discussed how racial equity could be moved from “vision to reality” in evaluation practice.
- Examine yourself first. An early (perhaps first) step toward pursuing racial equity in our work is to examine how our own biases—about people of different groups, theoretical orientations, and methodologies—influence each step of our work. AEA’s Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation provides useful guidelines for self-examination.
- Have open and courageous conversations with colleagues. For some people, acknowledging the existence of racial inequities is challenging. As a result, strategizing about how to pursue racial equity on important social indicators may be particularly unnerving. Bring in experts to facilitate tough discussions if no one in your organization has expertise in facilitating tough discussions about race.
- Take small steps. Pursuing racial equity does not have to be an “outward” effort in the beginning. Ideally, we do want to see racial equity on the priority lists of clients and other organizations. However, the best place to start is at home. Begin to analyze the ways in which racial equity can be pursued within your own organization. That way, you can offer guidance to others grounded in your experience facing the challenges of going from “vision to reality.”
- Evaluation Tools for Racial Equity: This site includes tip sheets, tools (e.g. self-assessments), and stories about how others have pursued racial equity in evaluation.
- Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity: This site has a wealth of resources geared toward organizations working to pursue racial equity at macro- and micro-levels in communities.