Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia New York City/2018-2019

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Applicant or grantee: Wikimedia New York City
Amount granted: $71,814 + a 10% contingency to address unforeseen opportunities or expenses, or a total of $79,000 (-)
Funding period: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019
Midpoint report due: 15 January 2019
Final report due: 30 July 2019

Application[edit]

Background[edit]

Link to these documents, for the upcoming funding period, only if you have them.

  1. Link to your organization's staffing plan, for the upcoming funding period. Staffing Plan 2018–2019
  2. Link to your annual plan, for the upcoming funding period. Annual Plan 2018–2019
  3. Link to your strategic plan, which includes the upcoming funding period. Strategic Plan 2018–2020

Please add your grants metrics to this sheet. Note that requirements for shared metrics have changed for grants starting 1 January 2017 or later. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_qZxJ7B9U_Eo6pMG55ox-zCHppM9-lubQm0jKI2tn6g/edit#gid=596622640

Programs[edit]

Please describe any changes to your programs for the upcoming funding period, including the addition of new programs or any programs you are no longer doing. Include your rationale for any major changes to your programs here.

  • Once a program of Wikimedia NYC, AfroCROWD has formed an independent user group under the fiscal sponsorship of Wikimedia NYC. We look forward to continuing our work with AfroCROWD, and supporting them as they grow in their new role.
  • Wikimedia NYC recently completed its first strategic planning process. Programs are more clearly defined, establishing a stronger foundation for future work.

Please use the templates provided to add information about each program you are planning for the upcoming funding period.

Chapter Membership & Community

Wikimedia NYC exists because of its members, the communities they represent, and the communities they contribute to. In order to further the activities of the Chapter, Wikimedia NYC must first build a networked membership with stronger connections to the Board and each other. This requires systems and infrastructure to support and grow the membership, including effective means of identifying, reporting, and addressing harassment within the Wikimedia NYC community.

Wikimedia NYC is a leader in public facing events, including edit-a-thons, lectures, course workshops, and its monthly salon and skill-share. While most of these events provide a fun and welcoming environment, there are inevitably moments of discord. Sometimes these are minor disagreements that can be adequately addressed by chapter leadership. At other times, the Wikimedia NYC members have been subject to harassment and abuse. In addition to the impact this has on an individual member, it threatens the long term health of the Chapter as members and institutional partners disengage from the Chapter in order to avoid interactions that threaten their personal and emotional safety.

Wikimedia NYC wrote the friendly space policy now in use by the Wikimedia Foundation and the larger Wikimedia movement. However, in order to identify and address harassment and abuse, the Chapter requires a more robust policy, as well as training and support from an external expert. Therefore, in the 2018–2019 fiscal year, Wikimedia NYC will continue its leadership in this area and hire a Support and Safety lead to establish a model for reporting, identifying, documenting, and addressing harassment issues in the Wikimedia community that does not happen on a Wikimedia project. The consultant will revise the existing friendly-space policy, develop and deliver training specific to the Wikimedia NYC community, deliver a workflow for documenting and tracking harassment. The consultant will also release a report and training materials that may be utilized by peer chapters and usergroups in North America, with an eye to adaptations for global use. In developing and sharing this toolkit, Wikimedia NYC will contribute to more inclusive Wikimedia movement, and a more welcoming space to new and existing member of the Chapter.

In order to assess the success of these early initiatives, Wikimedia NYC aims to increase its membership by 15% in the 2018–2019 fiscal year.

Partnerships

The partnerships program area provides support for programming and content contributions in collaboration with institutional partners. While most partners include GLAM, the Chapter regularly collaborates with a range of organizations that share its values, such as the Internet Society, the Swedish Consulate at the United Nations, and, most recently, New York Public Radio. These partnerships are central to Wikimedia NYC’s long term strategy, and, in the coming year, the Chapter aims to better define its engagement with existing partnerships, and to seek a broader range of new ones.

In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Wikimedia NYC will develop a partnerships strategy based on a survey of existing partnerships. What does the institution gain from the partnership? What are we doing well? What can be done better? How might Wikimedia NYC grow to support those needs? Whether partners needs more training, opportunities to connect with one another, or financial resources, Wikimedia NYC looks to its community in order to define infrastructural needs.

While Wikimedia NYC boasts a wide range of partnerships, most are located in Manhattan, just one of New York City’s five boroughs. This means that most Wikimedia NYC events aren’t as accessible to people that live and work in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. These boroughs boast a great range of linguistic and ethnic diversity, and it’s imperative that Wikimedia NYC expand its reach beyond Manhattan’s borders, into local communities, their institutions, and the knowledge they hold. Therefore, in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Wikimedia NYC will hold at least one event in each of the five boroughs in order to reach at least 100 New Yorkers.


Content Contributions

This program area focuses on Chapter activities that generate content for Wikimedia projects in the form of text, media, and data. This content may be contributed as a result of an institutional partnership or a public facing event.

Entering the tenth year of edit-a-thons conducted by the Chapter, content contributions by this method are core to its activities. As the Wikimedia Movement sets “Knowledge Equity” as one of its goals, Wikimedia NYC aims to continue its leadership in this area by contributing content that has been historically underrepresented and systematically removed from the record.

During the 2018–2019 fiscal year, Wikimedia NYC will hold at least three edit-a-thons that focus on content related to the LGBT+ community. While the Chapter has collaborated with the the LGBT+ User Group since 2014, this has been limited to the annual Wiki Loves Pride campaign in June. The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising will be in 2019, presenting a unique opportunity to queer Wikipedia. As the Chapter’s early efforts to address content gaps led to projects such as AfroCROWD and Art + Feminism, so too we hope that increased programming focused on LGBT+ issues will generate more momentum in the larger Wikimedia Movement.

In addition to hosting thematic events, Wikimedia NYC aims to host five edit-a-thons on projects other than the English Wikipedia in the 2018–2019 fiscal year. As part of its commitment to the peoples of New York (many of whom do not speak English at home) and through its partnership with the AfroCROWD User Group, Wikimedia NYC will hold at least two edit-a-thons on Wikipedia in languages other than English. In addition, it will host at least three edit-a-thons on non-encyclopedic projects such as Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons.

Staff and contractors[edit]

Please describe any changes to your staffing plan for the upcoming funding period. These should include increases in staff or contractor hours, new staff positions, or staff positions you are removing. Include your rationale for any staffing changes here.

  • The Internal Communications Manager position has been changed to a public facing Communications Manager in order to align with the strategic direction.
  • The Metrics & Reporting position has been closed. The Dashboard developed by Wiki EDU meets many of the Chapter's needs. Wikimedia NYC will continue to experiment with alternate means of reporting, but this position is not a priority for the 2018–2019 fiscal year.

For each new staff or contractor position, please use the template provided to add information about each new staff or contractor you are planning for the upcoming funding period (or to describe significant increases in hours or changes in job descriptions for existing staff). You are not required to provide this information for existing staff where no changes are required.

  • Wikimedia NYC aims to hire a consultant as Support & Safety Design Lead in order to build a foundation of inclusiveness.

Budget and resource plan[edit]

Link to a detailed budget for the upcoming funding period. This budget should include all of your organizations expenses. Please specify which expenses will be covered from your APG.

Midpoint report

Midpoint report[edit]

This is a brief report on the grantee's progress during the midpoint reporting period: July 2018 - December 2018.

Program story[edit]

Please link to one program story that showcases your organization's achievements during the reporting period.

For our program story, Wikimedia NYC wishes to highlight the work of one of our most active members, Jim Henderson. Jim is not only a prolific contributor to Wikimedia Commons, but to our community - deftly supporting new editors at almost every WMNYC event: https://queenseagle.com/all/2019/1/4/jim-henderson-wikipedia-photog-and-unsung-hero-of-community-news

Progress[edit]

Chapter Membership & Community

Wikimedia NYC shares its in-process work at WikiConference North America

In order to grow and maintain the health of the Chapter, Wikimedia NYC is committed to establishing the infrastructure for a more welcoming and inclusive environment. As outlined in the Annual Plan 2018-2019, a Support and Safety Design Lead was contracted in July 2018, and, after extensive research and consultations with the Board, Wikimedia NYC has replaced its Friendly Space Policy with a Code of Conduct (CoC). The Board didn't - and still doesn't - agree on all aspects of the policy, but the discussions are productive and advance the educational goals of this work. While the Chapter will license and share this work with the larger Wikimedia community upon completion, it also recognizes the importance of involving the community now. Therefore, Wikimedia NYC shared its in-process work at WikiConference North America in order to keep the community informed and solicit feedback. (link, presentation starts at 1:07:20)

The Wikimedia NYC Board is also discussing the needs of participants - from newbies to longtime editors - on a more consistent basis. The Board enjoys spending time together, and it's imperative that members also feel like they are a part of this community and find value in it. There has been a 48% increase in membership enrollment this fiscal year, and the Board is committed to continuing this growth.

Goal Status Description
Support and Safety Project
40%
2 of 5 action items complete. The Support & Safety Design Lead was hired, and a new Code of Conduct policy was established.
Increase membership by 15%
100%
Wikimedia NYC increased its membership by 48%

Partnerships

Wikimedia NYC shares the Commons with residents of Jamaica, Queens

Partnerships remain a core element of Wikimedia NYC's strategy. Through its collaborations with non-profit organizations, cultural heritage institutions, and community centers, Wikimedia NYC engages not only with new collections, but new communities. This reporting period, Wikimedia NYC established relationships with the New York Historical Society, the Semantic Lab at Pratt Institute, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Feminist Press, and Deshi Senior Center. The community in Jamaica, Queens (where Deshi Senior Center is located) is primarily Guyanese and South Asian, and by holding an event at Deshi Senior Center, Wikimedia NYC hoped to engage with these communities. While the event did not yield a lot of contributions, it was an important step in working with a new, multilingual community. In addition, the facilitators had a great deal of fun playing a post-editathon game of bingo with attendees.

During this period, Wikimedia NYC also continued collaborations with universities (Fordham University, Bard Graduate Center, Columbia University, and CUNY), independent non-profits (Open House New York), libraries (New York Botanical Garden and Asia Art Archive) and activist groups within and outside the Wikimedia movement (Interference Archive and the AfroCROWD User Group respectively).


Goal Status Description
Conduct a survey of previous and existing partnerships
0%
Organize at least one event in each of the five boroughs
80%
Wikimedia NYC hosted events in four of NYC's five boroughs -- Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Content Contributions

Q13276 to celebrate Wikidata's 6th birthday!
A winning photograph from the OHNY photo competition, taken by a member of Wikimedia NYC

Since its founding, Wikimedia NYC has been committed to increasing the representations of marginalized peoples in Wikipedia's content and community. All Wikipedia edit-a-thons led by the Chapter advance knowledge equity. With the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in June 2019, Wikimedia NYC has focused on increasing the representation of queer folx. To date, it's organized two edit-a-thons explicitly focused on this content area, one of which was held just a few blocks away from the location of the riots. Wikimedia NYC is in conversation with potential partners for the Wiki Loves Pride campaign this June.

In addition to diversifying its thematic events, Wikimedia NYC is promoting a broader range of Wikimedia projects. There has been a dramatic (and somewhat unexpected) increase in requests for Wikidata events this fall. In addition to one Wikidata workshop at the Pratt Institute School of Information, Wikimedia NYC has done significant outreach to the NYC library community, including focused events with the CUNY Graduate Center Library and professional organizations such as the New York Technical Services Librarians. Wikimedia NYC also held its first Wikidata birthday party! The afternoon included lightning talks, conversation, a make-your-own-Wikidata-button station, and, of course, cake.

For the third year in a row, the Chapter also hosted the official photography contest for Open House New York, a citywide architecture event that offers tours of buildings typically closed to the public. There were 693 photographs uploaded to Commons from 85 photographers, the great majority of them new editors. The event is an evolution on Wikipedia Takes Manhattan, the first ever wiki photography contest, which later inspired the global Wiki Loves Monuments.

Goal Status Description
Organize at least three edit-a-thons that focus on content related to the LGBT+ community
66%
WMNYC held a Wiki Loves Pride Edit-a-thon at Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village this July, and the Wikidata works with the Semantic Lab at Pratt Institute focused on adding entries for Lambda Literary winners.
Organize two edit-a-thons in languages other than English
0%
WMNYC has a two-day translate-a-thon scheduled for April.
Organize three edit-a-thons on projects such as Wikidata or Wikimedia Commons
100%
4 Wikidata events and 2 Wikimedia Commons events

Spending[edit]

Please report your organization's total spending during the reporting period, or link to a financial document showing your total spending.

$29,664


Final report[edit]

Program story[edit]

Please link to one program story that showcases your organization's achievements during the reporting period.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_New_York_City/Reporting_2018-2019/Program_Story

Learning Pattern[edit]

Please link to one learning story that showcases your organization's learning during the reporting period.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Learning_patterns/Organizing_a_Translatathon

Programs[edit]

Chapter Membership and Community[edit]

Wikimedia NYC's annual Wikipedia Day celebration welcomed 314 attendees
A group of Wikibrarians talk about Wikidata outreach strategies following June's WikiWednesday Salon

Wikimedia NYC is a leader in public facing events, including edit-a-thons, workshops, and its monthly salon and skill-share. In order to support and grow this work, the Chapter is committed to building a stronger, networked membership with deeper ties to the Chapter and each other. So in 2018-2019, Wikimedia NYC established the foundation for a more welcoming and supportive atmosphere by addressing questions around longtime harassment issues within the Chapter.

While most of Chapter events provide a fun and welcoming environment, there are inevitably moments of discord which can threaten the long term health of the Chapter as members and institutional partners disengage. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Wikimedia NYC contracted an external consultant, Caroline Sinders, to develop a system to identify, report, and address harassment within the Wikimedia NYC community. We were especially interested in partnering with Sinders due to her experience researching these issues at WMF and her expertise on online harassment more broadly. Sinders met with Wikimedia NYC multiple times over the course of the year, and then worked with the Wikimedia NYC board to launch a new Code of Conduct, a lightweight online reporting system, and train officers in its implementation. In a subsequent feedback form, board members reported feeling more prepared to intake a harassment report and implement the Code of Conduct.


[A major takeaway is that] the process of implementing the code of conduct is as important as the actual text, maybe moreso. - Wikimedia NYC Board Member


Wikimedia NYC wrote the friendly space policy now in use by the Wikimedia Foundation and the larger Wikimedia movement, and we look forward to sharing the new Code of Conduct and the supporting documentation with the hope of wider adoption.

Wikimedia NYC committed to growing its membership by 15% during the 2018-2019 fiscal year, but instead grew by an unprecedented 81%. While the Chapter cannot conclusively state the reason for this growth, its public commitment to creating safer, more welcoming spaces may have played a role. Alongside the membership growth, Wikimedia NYC also saw a concentrated effort by the Board to create programming that is useful to new and longtime members, and to further scope out the benefits of membership. A Community Engagement Committee was formed, and has been charged with supporting member focused events such as the monthly WikiWednesday Salon, as well as the annual Wiknic and Wikipedia Day celebrations. Non-editing, member focused events make up 23% of Wikimedia NYC's programming, and already the Committee is experimenting with ways to make things more fun and engaging for all. For instance, WikiWednesday now rotates facilitators each month, bringing new approaches to the format, whether its inviting guest speakers or playing music during breaks.

Goal Status Description
Support and Safety Project
100%
Wikimedia NYC has a new Code of Conduct and the reporting system and final report will be released shortly.
Increase membership by 15%
100%
Wikimedia NYC increased its membership by 81%

Partnerships[edit]

The partnerships program area provides support for programming and content contributions in collaboration with institutional partners that share its commitment to free culture. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Wikimedia NYC committed to diversifying its partnerships through engaging with institutions across a wider range of geographic locations. Specifically, to work with organizations across all five boroughs of New York City and, thus, deepen its engagement with the local knowledge of New Yorkers. This goal marked a significant departure in Wikimedia NYC’s approach to partnerships; historically, Wikimedia NYC has not reached out to potential partners, partners reach out to Wikimedia NYC. Thus, the Chapter found it difficult to establish new relationships within the year time frame. It led events in four of the five boroughs and supported Black Lunch Table events in the fifth borough (Staten Island), but, with the exception of the event at Deshi Center, these collaborations do not represent new partnerships. However, because of the outreach done in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Wikimedia NYC anticipates new collaborations with institutions in the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island in the 2019-2020 year. For instance, in November 2019, Wikimedia NYC will participate in a two-part workshop series at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx.

In order to strengthen existing partnerships, Wikimedia NYC intended to conduct a partnerships survey in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Ultimately, this project was deprioritized in order to address other work within the Chapter. However, the survey was finalized in June and will be sent to partners soon, providing adequate time to fold feedback into the Chapter activities for the coming year.

Goal Status Description
Conduct a survey of previous and existing partnerships
50%
Wikimedia NYC created the partnerships survey and will distribute it in late August
Organize at least one event in each of the five boroughs
100%
Wikimedia NYC supported events in all five boroughs

Content Contributions[edit]

Wikimedia NYC at the Reclaim Pride Queer Liberation March
Translatathon organizers take a bow

In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the Chapter organized 57 events, where 256 articles were created, 1,960 existing articles were edited and 1,100 files were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. 43 of these events were edit-a-thons or workshops, all of which focused on increasing the representation of knowledge that is otherwise marginalized.

As the Wikimedia Movement set Knowledge Equity as one of its goals, Wikimedia NYC continues its leadership in this area by contributing content that has been historically underrepresented and systematically removed from the record. All edit-a-thons organized by Wikimedia NYC have a thematic focus that supports a historically marginalized knowledge area. Perhaps more importantly, the Chapter recognizes its leadership in this area and set specific goals for 2018-2019 to increase support for LGBT+ content on Wikimedia projects, and to work across a greater range of Wikimedia projects and language Wikipedias.

Wikimedia NYC’s early efforts to address content gaps led to projects such as AfroCROWD and Art + Feminism, and the Chapter hopes that increasing the number of events focused on LGBT+ content will generate momentum in the larger Wikimedia Movement. As such, Wikimedia NYC organized six editing events focused on LGBT+ content during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Notably, these events were not limited to Pride month, but have become a regular part of the Chapter’s programming. The Chapter’s public commitment to queering Wikipedia was further demonstrated by its participation in the Reclaim Pride Queer Liberation March and its support of the global Wiki Loves Pride photography and health writing contests. Chapter leadership not only organized these contests with the LGBT+ User Group, but allocated $2,000 from an external funder to support the prizes. The metrics associated with these contests are not included in this report as the contest wasn’t supported by this grant.

In addition to hosting thematic events, Wikimedia NYC aimed to host five edit-a-thons on projects other than English Wikipedia in the 2018–2019 fiscal year, including two Wikipedia edit-a-thons in languages other than English. There is growing local interest in Wikidata and translation work, and, as a result, Wikimedia NYC surpassed each of its stated goals, offering eleven events on projects other than English Wikipedia. This included four events specifically focused on translation, including the annual translatathon hosted by LaGuardia Community College in collaboration the WikiTongues User Group. As a result of this work, 36.4% of the articles created at Wikimedia NYC events were written in languages other than English.

In addition to the introductory training at the start of an edit-a-thon, Wikimedia NYC provides extensive one-on-one assistance to attendees. The quality of the content produced is higher as a result. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, all submitted articles were retained; none were deleted. However, Wikimedia NYC still struggles with having all content created at an event appear on the associated Wikimedia project. It is common for a new attendee to work in their sandbox during the event, and promise to make final edits and add it to Wikipedia after the event is finished. The Chapter tracked this issue in 2018-2019 and determined that 275 drafts were created that have not yet become articles. This is not a new problem or one unique to Wikimedia NYC, but by identifying the extent of the issue, it opens opportunities to address it in the future. We look forward to doing so.

Pie chart showing language of articles created at Wikimedia NYC events in 2018-2019
Pie chart showing type of articles edited at Wikimedia NYC events in 2018-2019
Goal Status Description
Organize at least three edit-a-thons that focus on content related to the LGBT+ community
100%
Wikimedia NYC organized six events focused on LGBT+ topics in addition to supporting the Wiki Loves Pride global contests.
Organize two edit-a-thons in languages other than English
100%
WMNYC organized four translation events in 2018-2019
Organize three edit-a-thons on projects such as Wikidata or Wikimedia Commons
100%
6 Wikidata events and 2 Wikimedia Commons events

Operations[edit]

Wikimedia NYC was first recognized in 2009, and has shown significant growth during that time. During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the Chapter started building the infrastructure required to sustain existing operations and support future growth.

After ten years of relying on volunteer labor to provide accounting and bookkeeping services, the Chapter contracted Jitasa, Inc., which specializes in working with nonprofits of our size. The onboarding process requires a great deal of volunteer effort, and progress has been slow going. However, the Chapter has already seen improvements to its work.

Wikimedia NYC also aimed to hire a Communications Manager to relay its work within and beyond the Wikimedia movement, and to conduct an initial inventory of the Chapter's web presence as a first step in a site overhaul. While the position was filled, the Chapter was unable to retain the hire when a full-time position was offered to them. It is difficult to hire and retain part-time temporary positions in NYC, especially when the employment conditions are so unique. Instead of reopening the search, Wikimedia NYC reallocated the funds to contract with Logic Department, a women-owned consulting company that specializes in UX/UI and has previous experience with the Wikimedia movement. Logic Department works in three phases: (1)interviews with internal stakeholders (the Board), (2) site inventory and measure expectations of external stakeholders (i.e. partners and members of the public) and (3) recommendations for a site overhaul. Phase two is almost complete, and Wikimedia NYC looks forward to finishing the work with Logic Department and better communicating who we are and what we do.