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GEDI Week: Faheemah Mustafaa on Pursuing Racial Equity in Evaluation Practice

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.

Lessons Learned

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.”

Rad Resources:

  • 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.
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from AEA’s GEDI Program and its interns. For more information on GEDI, see their webpage here: http://www.eval.org/GEDI  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. – See more at: http://aea365.org/blog/#sthash.yAoNXPwW.dpuf

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