Evaluation’s Race Problem in the United States: A Call to Action for the Profession and the American Journal of Evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Despite political and rhetorical pronouncements of a reduction in racism, growing inequity in U.S. society continues to feature race as a prominent fault line with no evidence of reduction on the horizon. Of significant concern is the degree to which inequity among racially identified subgroups of the population link to policies and practices of local, state, and federal government and thereby influence the operation and evaluation of important programs and services. Evaluation as a principal tool of knowledge creation on behalf of government and the public trust must examine its role with respect to these alarming trends and potential vulnerability. The author examines how race and racism (particularly as focused on African American communities) may influence the theories, models, practices, and techniques of evaluation and calls for creation of an ongoing forum in the American Journal of Evaluation where these critical issues can receive thoughtful and continuous attention from the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-583
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018



  • framing of race and racism
  • institutionalized inequity
  • professional ethics
  • program evaluation
  • race and racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this