Theory Behind the Work

There are good reasons to articulate the theory underlying racial equity work. The process helps groups surface differing assumptions about how change happens, including how privilege and systemic and individual levels of racism might be playing out.  This helps to reconcile differences or to build in different assumptions to the evaluation.  The process can also point out gaps or redundancies in strategies.  The resulting picture also can serve as a communication tool, making it easier for others to see where their interests do or do not align with the intended strategies and goals. All of those benefits serve the work, as well as evaluation.

At the same time, while it is always useful to get clear about intentions for racial equity work, it is not always possible to specify in advance how that work will unfold, or what it will accomplish at various points in time. Much of the work being done to pr [...]




“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it explode?”

~ Langston Hughes, American Poet and Activist


Lucky Zip Codes – Amy Hunter, TEDxGatewayArch

Also in this section:
  • Defining the Work

  • Desired Outcomes

  • Knowledge Development and Evaluation Research Questions


Cultural Appropriation

Cultural Racism



People of Color

Racial and Ethnic Identity

Structural Racialization


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