Grants:IdeaLab/Encourage formal diversity training by trained presenters
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
In-person participation in Wikimedia community events exposes people to new ideas and people outside of their regular social circles. This is because of the nature of Wikipedia, and also because the global Wikimedia community has a commitment to increase diversity in its community base with regard to language, culture, gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, education, familial status, professional background, and other factors. While diversity makes for a more balanced encyclopedia, it also increases the chances that members of the community will meet others with opposing or conflicting points of view. More commonly, diversity makes it more likely that the people in a diverse group will have difficulty communicating with each other and will come either to a misunderstanding or take offense where none was intended. It could also mean that people cause offense and have difficulty apologizing.
What is your solution?
This is a difficult problem to address with no obvious solution, but one contribution to a solution might be developing a way to grant easier access to en:diversity training to Wikimedia community groups which meet in person. In diversity training, a trained facilitator leads a workshop in which participants engage in structured training based on social research and precedents of what have worked for other organizations.
The way to get a diversity training presenter could be to identify a local professional who is already experienced in giving these services and pay them to present. This could prove to be difficult considering that practically no one will be familiar with the particular problems in addressing the needs of a community which interacts both online and off, but if these trainings can reduce the risk of alienating community members who experience discrimination or offense, then it might be worth it.
- Provide this service in coordination with other related services, perhaps under the direction of a community human resources staffperson