Elevating Cultural Relevance and Racial Equity in Research and Evaluation

Interest in evidence-based programs is increasing—not just among policymakers, but among philanthropic organizations. Simultaneously, more foundations are interested in supporting efforts that advance racial equity in research and in the field. To providers serving less well-researched communities, applying for grants amid these parallel movements can feel like a trade-off. This brief discusses the tension between implementing models based on available evidence and piloting programs that prioritize cultural relevance and responsiveness to the communities they serve. The discussion stems from Urban’s partnership with a nonprofit youth development organization, Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development (AALEAD).