Connect. Learn. Community.

Community Engagement Panel with EASL

  • 27 Jan 2022
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Link from EASL

Research and evaluation can be and has been extractive in so many ways. As we move forward in our work as evaluators, we should recognize historical harm done by our field and work towards repair. Part of this work is creating sustained, intentional and meaningful connections with community (if that’s what they want!).

Are we only “engaging community” when we need to hold a focus group or do a survey? How do we ensure our efforts are centering equity and meaningful relationships? How are our methods responsive to community in our work as evaluators? There are also the realities of budget restrictions and living in a pandemic that also need to be considered.

Katie Battis-Troyer, founder of Claim Our Space, LLC and Kassira Absar, Senior Consultant at The Improve Group, will discuss tools, considerations, challenges, and supports to community engagement efforts. The event is hosted by the Evaluation Association of St. Louis, in partnership with MNEA. After the event, EASL will host their annual meeting.

Registration link:

Panel Bios:
Katie Battis-Troyer has served in several community- and social equity-centered roles within government, philanthropic, and corporate organizations including serving as the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for former MN Governor Dayton, the first-ever position of its kind in the nation. Katie formed Claim Our Space, LLC in 2018, and has since led several projects with organizations that help them expand the communities that they engage with through their events and community engagement strategies. Katie works with clients to deepen their understanding of and commitment to equity and inclusion and guides them through the process of incorporating these values and commitments into their community engagement strategies and events. As the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how institutions engage with their communities, Katie and her team are continuously identifying and developing strategies for their clients to virtually engage with their communities in meaningful and innovative ways.

Kassira Absar is a researcher and evaluator, managing projects and engaging community at the international, national, state, and local levels. She has a background in human rights, international development, community engagement, and both qualitative and quantitative research methods. In her work she focuses on community responsive and equitable evaluation and research practices, with an interest in community engagement in data collection and outreach. Kassira has worked with a variety of clients across sectors and believes the term “with an equity lens” should no longer exist as our lens should always incorporate equity, access, and be trauma-informed.



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since 2004

Minnesota Evaluation Association

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Minneapolis, MN 55458



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