Grants:Project/HBCU Student Outreach and Engagement (SOE) Project

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statusnot selected
HBCU Student Outreach and Engagement (SOE) Project
summaryThe HBCU SOE Project introduces the Wikimedia Movement to HBCU students, campuses, and neighboring communities.
targetEnglish Language Wikipedia
type of grantoffline programs and events
amount32000 USD
created on19:09, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

In a broad and much accepted understanding, the Wikimedia movement struggles to increase diversity among its editor and contributor communities especially among African Americans. This disparity lends itself to systemic bias and gaps in content about African American culture and history in Wikipedia compromising the movement's value "to give online access to high quality Wikimedia project content". More so, this demographic imbalance of editors and contributors discourages a long-term commitment to participating in the Wikimedia movement as a whole among African Americans, reinforcing a culture of ethnic exclusion in practice, even though the words and statements of the Wikimedia Movement suggest fostering and maintaining a culture of ethnic inclusion and cultural pluralism.

What is your solution?[edit]

The HBCU Student Outreach and Engagement (SOE) Project proposes to introduce the Wikimedia Movement to and encourage editing of Wikipedia among HBCU students and faculty through edit-a-thons and institution coursework. As this non-traditional demographic becomes more exposed to Wikimedia, the foundation's guiding principle "to eliminate barriers that could preclude people from accessing or contributing to our projects" becomes more realized, even if those "barriers" are of a socio-cultural nature.

Project goals[edit]

- To increase the number of editors-of-color contributing to Wikipedia supporting the mission to engage

- To increase the number of edits or articles about African Americans on Wikipedia to ensure the value of quality content

- To create a Wikipedia focused student user group or club as part of the college's set of student clubs and organizations

- To foster a sense of community among student editors-of-color on Wikipedia about the Wikimedia Movement

Project plan[edit]


  • Establish relationships with instructors or administrators
    • conduct meeting to introduce project and educate them about Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Movement
    • expose instructors to Wikimedia projects that include practices that satisfy curriculum or academic requirements
    • support instructors or school administrators in designing exercises that engage students with Wikipedia
    • learn college guidelines for creating student clubs and obtain list of recommended student for leaders
  • Recruit students for Wikipedia student user group(s) or club
    • visit classrooms to briefly introduce project, distribute brief questionnaire about subject interests, and invite to Wikimedia informational sessions
    • conduct a 1 - 3 Wikimedia Informational sessions to inform students about the Wikimedia Movement (will also include the opportunity for students to create user ids and begin editing) - may include off campus site
    • conduct 2 "training the trainer" sessions about hosting edit-a-thons (facilitate student decision making for interest or theme oriented edit-a-thon)
    • assist recommended student leaders and volunteer student trainers in forming a Wikipedia focused student club according to college guidelines
  • Plan and coordinate logistics for 4 - 5 edit-a-thons for the Wikipedia student user group or club
    • create and distribute invitations and determine number of attendees
    • seek out senior Wikipedians in the city or surrounding community of the campus and invite them to participate
    • locate appropriate facilities
      • assess computer and wifi/internet capacity and functionality
      • determine rental fees for space and reserve location
      • get multiple login setup permission and overhead projection for training
      • coordinate food, drinks, and/or subtle entertainment (i.e. dj music, guest trainer/speaker)
    • create, distribute, and collect evaluation forms (online format also)
  • Coordinate end of project activities
    • track number of new editors-of-color
    • track number of new articles created
    • track number of articles edited by new editors-of-color
    • write report about project highlights and statistics
    • present awards for best contributors and editors
    • facilitate an end of semester/year session with students and explore ways for them to encourage participation for incoming/new students
  • The following link provides a spreadsheet of a the projected schedule of events/activities for this project plan. However, these projections are awaiting review and modification from the college administration.


  • $15,000 - Project manager (6 months) - develops project plan, meets with college administrators and instructors, research evidence based techniques, develops curricula, point of contact for admins, students, vendors, and greater community, gather stats on event attendance and quality, implement and drives plan, creates reports for Wikimedia foundation on grant activities and project results, develops and facilitates training on Wikimedia Movement, etc.
  • $10,000 - Project coordinator (6 months) - recruits students participants, coordinates event logistics (i.e. location, equipment, supplies, food, etc.), coordinates travel arrangements for training and networking
  • $1000 Event supplies (i.e. marketing/print material, food, entertainment, souvenirs/awards for best contributor etc.)
  • $5000 - Travel expenses for networking, training, and conferences
  • $1000 Discretionary funds (i.e. child care costs, technology issues, etc. if necessary)

Community engagement[edit]

The setting for for this project will be Paul Quinn College in Dallas, TX. The goal is to establish relationships with instructors of Education, English, History, and Computer Science and explore the aspects of their individual coursework to determine overlapping streams of activities that coalesce with engagement with Wikipedia. Establishing a relationship with the school's librarian and writing lab director will ensure a robust reach of students from varying disciplines. Student support services faculty and staff will also be engaged because they would have niche data on nuanced student behavior that may elicit unique opportunities to engage with the student body.  Lastly, reaching out to alumni groups is included with the hope that this may provide insight about student activity following graduation and may support the idea of sustainable engagement with editors in their post-graduate lives.


The true intention of this project is to pilot the model for how many other HBCUs can develop and foster Wikipedia focused student user groups or clubs. This year particularly, Paul Quinn College will be host to the 2016 HBCUstory Symposium which is a research and cultural symposium exploring successful practices of HBCUs. Although not fully articulated in the project plan, awareness of this project will be discussed while attending the symposium, if symposium timing permits.

The project staff will also travel to neighboring HBCUs to introduce the HBCU SOE project and the "Wikimedia Movement" to the school and local communities, with the intent of encouraging an HBCU user-group network among HBCUs regionally.

Upon completion of the project, a final component involves facilitating a discussion with students on how they will train incoming students. The session will also explore ways for the students to remain involved with the Wikimedia movement in general and as editors of Wikipedia.

Measures of success[edit]

By the end of the academic school year:

  • A student led Wikipedia focused student user group will have been created
  • A minimum of 4 themed edit-a-thons will have been conducted
  • A minimum of 30 new articles will have been created
  • A minimum of 50 existing articles will have new edits
  • A minimum of 40 editors-of-color will have new logins

Get involved[edit]


Grey Jones:

  • Active member of the New York City chapter of Wikimedia and an AfroCrowd Wikipedia editor attending 2 “Training the Trainer” sessions and co-coordinating first “Juneteenth Edit-a-thon” in New Haven, Conn. as senior Wikipedian in 2016; also was a panelist representing Wikipedia at this year's inaugural 2016 "Digital Blackness Conference" at Rutgers University.
  • Project Manager in the financial services industry with extensive experience interviewing clients to gather business requirements, developing manuals and facilitating training, and supporting clients with new computer initiatives as a process-oriented business liaison for technology departments
  • Cultural Anthropology specializing in American race relations with experience conducting ethnography research using surveys, interviews, and participant observation and presenting findings at the American Anthropological Association Conference (2003) and the Southern Anthropological Society Annual Meeting (2004)
  • Community organizer on executive team responsible for planning and coordinating city-wide African American festivals in Texas (City of Irving Juneteenth 2013, 2014, 2015)

Anita “Makini” Hearn-Shakur:

  • Executive director non-profit training rural students behavioral skills with a horticultural focus in East Texas
  • Executive director and board member of CBO within historic African American community on Irving Texas - West Irving Improvement Association (WIIA)
  • Executive director and board member of  CHDO providing housing and services to under-served populations in Historic African American community (Bear Creek) in Irving Texas - Bear Creek Development Corp (BCDC)
  • Cultural Anthropology specializing in American race relations with experience conducting ethnography research using surveys, interviews, and participant observation
  • Community organizer on executive team responsible for planning and coordinating city-wide African American festivals in Texas (City of Irving Juneteenth 2013, 2014, 2015)

Community notification[edit]

Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • Excellent idea! harej (talk) 16:36, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
  • Endorse. This sounds like a great project. I think that you need the addition of an experienced Wikipedian with over 1,000 edits (ideally someone engaged within the community for a few years with a significant edit count) to support this project as an additional partner. We need this type of outreach 100%, and it needs to come from within the community like this project describes. Good luck with this Grey! -- BrillLyle (talk) 14:46, 17 November 2016 (UTC)