Navigating Resistance to Integrating Equity in Evaluation and Capacity Building is the First Necessary Conversation to Move Towards Action  

Since the summer of 2020, the use of hashtags to signal the support of communities impacted by structural racism is no longer the limit that organizations will go. Today, organizations are moving past virtue signaling and responding to elevated tensions and increased awareness of structural racism by changing how they do their work. We see organizations express desire and take steps to become anti-racists and pro-black shifting the status quo and sharing power with others. This shift will result in some resistance. Resistance is a natural human response to change. Staff may feel uncertain, uncomfortable, and unsafe. Evaluation in service of Racial Equity is not exempt from these feelings.  

While many tools are available for equitable evaluation, the transformational change we desired is not our reality. From our research on equity tools or guides, moving towards that desired reality requires: 

  1. Knowledge and acknowledge of past harms. Before working to solve any problem, it is important to understand what the problem is, how it came to be, and who is impacted by the problem.  
  2. Understanding of equity. Learn more about potential equitable strategies, evaluations, and solutions.  
  3. Definition of equity. Combine your understanding of current and past harms in your region with potential equitable solutions to define what doing better means in your community.  
  4. Commitment to equity. Commit to doing the work at numerous levels, including leadership, board, and staff. Equally as important, there is a financial commitment to equity. 
  5. Processes that support equity. Infuse equity throughout your work so that you do not easily backtrack.  

What we have found in our work is processes that support equity (#5), more specifically, the facilitation of the change process can be a major barrier to strategies and evaluations in services to equity. 

At American Evaluation Association 2022 Summer Institute, we, Jasmine Williams-Washington, PhD and Amber Trout, PhD will facilitate a workshop, Navigating resistance to integrating equity in evaluation and capacity building is the first necessary conversation to move towards action we will discuss: 

  • how to use scenario planning to identify necessary organizational conversations to address equity as an internal and external evaluator 
  • learn an approaches to identify the structure and scale to focus the conversation (e.g., interpersonal, organizational, or system) with a system lens centering equity 
  • learn how to use stakeholder maps to understand the power dynamics that can influence an organization’s necessary conversations to see the possibilities to move to action in service to equity 

We hope to see you there! Click here to register.