Moving the Field Towards Equitable Evaluation

Change Matrix will be the new managing partner of Annie E Casey’s Advancing Collaborative Evaluation (ACE) Network and Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) Initiatives!  

Change Matrix is committed to seeking mission-aligned work that advances opportunities for underrepresented groups; addresses root causes of social injustice, systemic racism, and other inequities; and builds power in communities and groups to address equity. We understand that there is a need to shift the way we approach inquiry, expand who conducts research and evaluation, translate our knowledge into resilience-oriented thinking, and promote bold actions to build stronger, healthier communities.

As such, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to manage two signature initiatives that align with our CM vision and mission:

  • The Advancing Collaborative Evaluation (ACE) Network is currently a program of the Casey Foundation’s Expanding the Bench® initiative, which aims to increase diversity within the Foundation’s current pool of expert researchers and evaluators.  Expanding the Bench was created from a fundamental belief that increasing diversity in the field of research and evaluation improves our knowledge base and makes for better science and social innovation. Diversity promotes creative thinking by expanding a group’s capacity for viewing issues or problems from multiple perspectives and vantage points.

The Foundation has also formed an ACE network of nearly 100 independent evaluators and evaluation firm leaders from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Change Matrix has been an ACE Network members since their first Call for Qualifications in 2014.

  • Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) is an evaluation training program designed to develop a pipeline of diverse leaders in equitable evaluation who will advance the field of evaluation and improve the life outcomes of children, families and communities. LEEAD is based on the fundamental belief that increasing diversity in the field of research and evaluation improves our knowledge base and makes for better science and social innovation.

LEEAD supports talented researchers in their pursuits of careers in culturally responsive and equitable evaluation through an intensive nine-month implementation of three essential components:

 1)  A six-month online evaluation training curriculum with a core professional development course

2)  Ongoing mentorship from senior experts and peers in evaluation

3)  A three-month practicum at an evaluation organization, think tank, or private firm

The core values of LEEAD are equity, diversity, leadership, and excellence.

Since the initiative began in 2014, the LEEAD program has recruited, screened, trained and supported more than 30 evaluators from underrepresented communities.

As the new managing partner, Change Matrix looks forward to bringing our insight, experience, and innovation to grow and sustain both of these important efforts.

Read the blog post from the Annie E. Casey Foundation announcing the shift – Expanding the Bench Makes a Move

Contributed by: Rachele Espiritu
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Flexibility in Where We Live and How We Work

As we continue to learn more about our Change Matrix team, we learned that our life journeys have taken us to live in many states, First Nations, and countries. This is probably why we feel comfortable and flexible in the adaptive work that we do.

Read on to see where CM team members have lived and how many times we’ve moved. Maybe we have unknowingly crossed paths in the past!

Alina has lived in 5 states (MA, MO, FL, AK, CO), 11 cities and one “town” that had a higher population of moose than people, for a total of 12 moves.

Elizabeth has lived all of my life in the US and have moved 27 times.  I have lived in NC, CO, CA (multiple times and places), WA (same), NC (again) VT, MD, CT (1st time), CA (again), IN and CT (again and hopefully for a while).  I still say I am from the Pac NW.

Jennifer has lived in 2 countries (United States and Korea) within 3 states ( OH, SC, NV) for a total of 20 moves.

London has lived in 2 countries (United States and Ecuador). In the US, I have lived in 7 states (IL, ND, SD, WI, MN, OR, WA), including 8 cities (populations over 100,000), 1 large town (population of around 20,000) and 3 small towns (populations of less than 6,500). In Ecuador, 3 provinces, including 1 city and 2 small towns.

Naomi has lived in 3 countries (United States, England, Nicaragua) and has moved a total of about 20 times. Housing has included a house with a dirt floor and a cargo kayak with tents pitched on various Alaskan islets for 5 weeks. In the U.S. I’ve lived in NY (my childhood home and various college moves), NJ, PA, D.C., MD, VA, NC (a few times), FL, and have “lived” for 1-3 months in MS, AK, and ME (several times).

Rachele has lived in 2 countries (Philippines, United States); 9 cities in 5 states (MI, CA, CO, back to CA, MD, TX, and back to CO) for a total of 19 moves.

Sandra has moved 20 times and lived in TX, RI, MA, DC, and CO.

Shannon has lived in the United States, Canada, Fort William First Nation, Gull Bay First Nation and Grand Portage First Nation, within the State of Minnesota, the State of Iowa and the Province of Ontario. Though I have had many moves, all were within the original boundaries of the Lake Superior Ojibwe, except one. I moved so many times that family and friends suggested I just buy a moving van and live out of that… I built a vardoo wagon instead. I don’t’ move it far right now I just have the option.

Suganya has lived in 5 countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Nicaragua, Japan, United States and also lived and worked briefly in Nicaragua. Within the US, I have lived in 8 states: WA, OR, NV, MN, MA, NJ, NY and DC. The number of homes I’ve moved are too numerous to enumerate except to say that at one point my family moved 11 houses in the same town.

Contributed by: Change Matrix Team
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Back to School: CM’s Work Improving Mental Health in School Systems

Check out our new video blog where Founding Partner Elizabeth Waetzig discusses how mental health in schools shows up in our work, and how we show up to support young people across the country!

Contributed by: Elizabeth Waetzig
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