Our approach to DEI is rooted in recognizing and respecting the cultures and experiences of all racial and ethnic communities.
Changes in policies, programs, and practices informed by our evaluation research and technical assistance will address racism, both systemic and individual. This requires us to—
- Identify the drivers of inequities—including racism as well as sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and ageism
- Collaborate with clients, partners, and communities
- Understand how we can remove inequities
- Use data to assess and monitor impact
- Ensure sustainability of our approach
Our DEI strategy focuses on three dimensions* to ensure the staff and culture embody this commitment:
Normalize. A shared language and framework guide our work and help to identify the important differences between individual, institutional, and structural racism. Using and understanding a common language fosters an inclusive environment. Through clear action plans and accountability mechanisms, we prioritize organizational change to address different levels of racism in hiring, staff training, professional advancement, retention, and benefits.
Organize. Our internal infrastructure and external partnerships leverage DEI expertise and capacity building activities. A key partner is the Race Matters Institute, a program of JustPartners, a nonprofit advancing measurable equitable performance.
Operationalize. We embed an equity perspective in our technical work by consistently applying an equity framework to proposals, activities, and products. For example, a Racial Equity Impact Analysis is a systematic part of policy, protocol, and product review to understand how a service, issue, or decision could benefit or harm different communities.
Our efforts also include—
- Racial equity training and coaching for staff
- A toolkit to guide staff in incorporating equity at every stage of research, evaluation, and technical assistance
- A racial equity workgroup to share information with staff on DEI activities and progress
- A multicultural affinity group to provide a supportive space for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) staff
- Readings and staff discussions to probe historical roots of racism and implicit bias, current experiences of BIPOC, and implications for personal and professional growth
*Based on the Government Alliance on Race and Equity model of change, a project by Race Forward