As a member-driven organization, OPEN only exists with the leadership and efforts of members like you! To ensure the continuation of OPEN, we need to fill a number of 2022 OPEN Council positions, including the DEIJ Liaison role. Submit an Interest Form today to be a part of what's next!
Below, OPEN's 2021 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) Liaison, Andrea Steigerwald, shares her thoughts on the DEIJ role and responsibilities, and how an incoming 2022 DEIJ Liaison might craft their own experience in the position. This was her second year on the OPEN Council; in 2020, Andrea served on the OPEN Events Committee.
My name is Andrea Steigerwald, and I have been a part of the OPEN council for two years: first on the events team and this year as the diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) liaison.
The DEIJ Liaison role was first created in 2021 to advance OPEN's DEIJ efforts. While the DEIJ Liaison helps move this important work forward, advancing DEIJ within OPEN is ultimately the responsibility of the entire OPEN council.
My Tenure as DEIJ Liaison
I stepped into this role because I am passionate about culturally responsive and equitable evaluation, and wanted to learn more about what it means in practice. I reached out to evaluation organizations (i.e., organizations like OPEN in other states) across the US and Canada to hear more about lessons learned in their approach to DEIJ and anti-racism work. Attending the monthly Local Affiliate Collaborative (LAC) meetings helped me build these cross-state connections. I valued the input from the Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation learning community and virtual coffee dates with OPEN community members who reached out to talk about DEIJ complexities in their work. I organized an Evaluation Journal Club focused on inciting social change, which led to the beginnings of a DEI resource list shared out with the community.
What has become clear to me is that advancing DEIJ is not a linear or fast-moving "initiative", but rather a mindful, action-oriented, and often slow, ongoing process that often involves some missteps. This year, we had great listening sessions, facilitated by past OPEN presidents, that provided rich feedback from the OPEN community to inform strategic planning and DEIJ efforts next year.
A year into this work, this role is still taking shape as we reflect on how to turn DEIJ inwards and rethink OPEN's internal structures and strategic planning. Moving forward, the hope is that this role evolves into a DEIJ committee that will work together, actively listen, and help the OPEN Council take the next steps.
I want to emphasize that this role is fluid, and whoever steps into this role next, please reshape it and take it in new directions!
A monthly OPEN meeting, LAC meeting, phone calls with organizations and members, and compiling resources put me at about 5-10 hours a month -- The time commitment depends on what you choose to work on.
Please reach out if you want to learn more; we want to hear from you!