ETB Blogs

Empowering Connections: How ETB Coffee Breaks Foster Equity and Transform Evaluation Practices

Expanding the Bench® (ETB) is an evaluation initiative that supports a culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE) field. Through engaging racially and ethnically diverse Evaluators who have been historically or presently underrepresented or marginalized in the U.S. and Funders of Evaluation, ETB works to ensure that power is distributed equitably to champion justice. By connecting Funders of Evaluation and Evaluators from the Advancing Culturally-responsive and Equitable (ACE) Evaluation Network and Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) Alum through 1:1 ETB Coffee Breaks, ETB reworks the established power structures existing within the evaluation ecosystem. ETB Coffee Breaks serve as a “get-to-know-you” opportunity, focused on networking and relationship-building within the context of CREE practice.

As a preview to what your Coffee Break may look like, Sharon Duncan Jones-Eversley, President and CEO of Relevant Solutions, LLC, offered to share her experience in meeting with Funders of Evaluators and how they spent their time diving into evaluation methods, social justice, and what it met to receive insight from direct conversations with Funders.

Reflecting on the discussion, Sharon shared how ETB Coffee Breaks have shaped her approach to CREE-focused work, particularly in understanding power dynamics and intersections, saying “CREE focuses me to assess the variations of power, both assumed and affirmed, and the various ways the dynamics of power intersect.” Looking forward, she’s eager to explore how philanthropic organizations apply CREE in their social investments and grant processes.

Networking was also a highlight for Sharon, who is excited about continuing conversations with new connections from these sessions. She found the Coffee Breaks not only to be informative but also directly applicable to her work, making them essential for anyone in the ACE Evaluation Network Members, stating “I would recommend ETB Coffee breaks to my fellow ACE Evaluation Network. I learned so much from both of my coffee breaks and the interaction was relational, encouraging, and applicable to my company.”

Ready to join in? Don’t miss your opportunity to engage with inspiring Evaluators like Sharon Duncan Jones-Eversley in our upcoming Coffee Breaks. Registration for the next break opens September 16th for the next break, so stay tuned and become part of our engaging community.

For Funders of Evaluation interested in joining ETB Coffee Breaks, sign up here.

~ Manny Stegall, ETB Field Building Team Project Coordinator