Shruti Jayaraman

Director | Chicago Beyond
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Shruti Jayaraman lives according to a handful of intentions. One of these is an intention to support the fundamental well-being of people. She is the Director of Learning at Chicago Beyond, an impact investor that backs the fight for youth equity by fueling organizations, individuals, and ideas.

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

Why Am I Always Being Researched?

The ways we use and create evidence can help structural racism to reproduce itself. And we are accountable.

"Why Am I Always Being Researched?” began as Chicago Beyond’s letter to ourselves, drawn from our own steps and missteps. Chicago Beyond examined our own practices and behaviors in funding, and in how research is conducted. We noticed more and more how the structures we use to find what works to improve communities may be negatively impacted by the same power dynamics that have propped up systemic injustice. The framework has strengthened our work and the work of many others— from philanthropies to research institutions to nonprofits organizing within their institutional structures to shift practices. The presenters will share learnings from using “Why Am I Always Being Researched?” to challenge orthodoxy in research and evaluation where it does not line up with community needs.

This session will: (1) Introduce the framework of “Why Am I Always Being Researched?”; (2) Share how we and other institutions across philanthropy, research and nonprofits have operationalized it; (3) Lead an active session to equip participants with the tools to recognize faster and more often where the evidence is hiding inequities; and (4) Facilitate participants identifying practical shifts in their work.

Speakers: Shruti Jayaraman, Efrain Gutierrez