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Listening for Change: Evaluators of color speak out about experiences with foundations and evaluation firms

May 1, 2020

The quotes and ideas presented in this brief emerged from conversations with California-based evaluators of color during the Summer and Fall of 2019. With the support of the James Irvine Foundation, Engage R+D facilitated three conversations with a total of 16 participants who identify as emerging to mid-level evaluators of color working with philanthropy (Bay Area = 10; Central Valley = 2; Los Angeles = 4). We identified participants through our organizations' networks, through outreach to other foundations, and through the American Evaluation Association's website and other lists. The majority of participants had less than 10 years of evaluation experience and worked for small- to mid-sized evaluation consulting firms. Some participants were independent consultants or affiliated with a university. Eleven of the participants took part in an additional follow-up discussion of the themes that emerged from the original conversations to reflect on implications and recommendations. Though data collection happened prior to COVID-19, the issues raised in this brief are brought into even greater relief by how the crisis is impacting communities of color.