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Equity and Evaluation Policy: Making Good on the Biden Administration’s Commitment

The Biden Administration has taken clear steps to make racial equity a governmentwide priority. What should that look like for evaluation policy?  

 The January 20th Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities through the Federal Government (EO) cited the urgent need to address entrenched disparities in US law and public policy, acknowledging long-standing inequities that exacerbated the converging economic, health, and climate crises. One week later, the Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking (Memorandum) emphasized “the delivery of equitable programs, across every area of government,” including the role of evidence-based policymaking. The direct language of racial equity, accompanied by President Biden’s January 26th remarks explicitly naming racial injustice as a nation-wide equity agenda, promises a new level of unpacking how federal government operates and engages people and communities historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.  

Why Isn’t Juneteenth Taught in Schools?

December 22, 2020

According to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and Juneteenth.com, it is a celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union Soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas, to announce that the war had ended and that all enslaved people were now free. The day became known as the African American Emancipation Day, and is recognized today as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, and celebrated every June 19.

Behind the Numbers: What the Latest Opportunity Index Tells Us About Our Communities

August 27, 2020

The latest Opportunity Index is out, how does your community measure up? To get the full answer, we need to dig into the data and examine it disaggregated by race. Only then can we understand who truly has opportunity, and how well our Zip Codes are living up to the American promise of opportunity for all.

Opportunity Nation’s Delbria Walton guides us through the latest release, with an in-depth look at one state that is very much in the headlines.

In Demanding Justice For Black People, Are We Sacrificing the Peace of Black Youth?

August 12, 2020

Oppression has robbed Black youth of their childhood for centuries. Beverly Daniel Tatum, the author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” remembers the conversation she had with her son at age 3 when a peer attributed his dark skin to drinking too much chocolate milk. Tatum’s explanation and the conversations she had with him throughout his life leads to a bigger question: Why do Black children have to learn about racism before they learn cursive?

Seen and Heard

March 17, 2020

Housing insecurity can be an antecedent to other major issues including health disparities, high youth disconnection rates, economic growth and greater dependence on public assistance. Many of these often overlapping factors are also the driving cause of minorities moving into low-income public housing in the first place.

The Opportunity Index is a data tool to calculate the opportunity score for every U.S. state and most counties. This score identifies challenges and successes across four dimensions: economy, health, community and education. The East End scored 51.7 out of 100 in economy. For context, Virginia has a score of 61.1, an almost 10-point difference. The national economy score is 55.4 — still higher than Richmond.

Opportunity Nation’s Index in Your Inbox: Looking at the Economy

December 13, 2019

The Opportunity Index uses 20 indicators across four dimensions to provide users with a numerical measurement of opportunity across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The four dimensions of community well-being are: the economy, education, health, and community. To better understand how each dimension and its indicators help to craft this unique score, the Forum will take a deep dive into each, identifying its impact on opportunity, implications for change, and policies that could help communities move forward.

Changing the odds for young people has never been more important