Knowledge Equity Fund/ms

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The Wikimedia Foundation Knowledge Equity Fund (the Fund) is a US$4.5 million fund created by the Wikimedia Foundation in 2020, to provide grants to external organizations that support knowledge equity by addressing the racial inequities preventing access and participation in free knowledge.

This pilot initiative is rooted in our strategic direction, where Knowledge Equity emerged in 2017 as one of two key pillars of focus in order for us to achieve our vision for 2030. Knowledge equity acknowledges that we can’t achieve free knowledge if there are social or economic barriers that prevent some people’s ability to share and contribute to knowledge. With this focused fund, we will invest in organizations working to address systems of racial bias and inequality around the world, with the goal of creating a more inclusive, representative future for free knowledge.


Knowledge equity is core to the work of free knowledge and to the Wikimedia movement. In order to invite in the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege, we must break down the obstacles that are preventing the ability of all people to participate in sharing, creating, and accessing all knowledge. Many of these barriers are rooted in systems of racial oppression. Due to colonization and slavery, knowledge from Black, Indigenous and racialised communities around the world have been systematically excluded and erased from the Western historical canon.

In June 2020, the murder of George Floyd in the United States (US) led to protests against racial injustice in more than 60 countries around the world. In the wake of these continued global protests, the Wikimedia Foundation made several explicit commitments to advance racial justice through increased support and investment as a Foundation, as a part of our movement’s larger commitment to knowledge equity. The Knowledge Equity Fund was created in late 2020 as part of these commitments, recognizing the inextricable link between racial equity and knowledge equity. The Fund seeks to address barriers to free knowledge experienced by Black, Indigenous and oppressed/marginalized racialized communities around the world.

At the same time, we acknowledge this is work that we as a movement cannot do alone. Our projects can only do so much when, for example, academic and mass media representation of marginalized communities remains insufficient, which in turn limits citations and primary/secondary sources for us to build from. The Knowledge Equity Fund is designed to provide grants to organizations outside of our movement, and, where possible, facilitate links and partnerships with organizations inside the movement. This will allow us to build a robust ecosystem of free knowledge partners working to address the barriers to knowledge equity.

The Knowledge Equity Fund is a pilot program, and we will be continuing to iterate on the structure and goals of the Fund. In January 2023 it was announced that we would move the remainder of the Fund from Tides Advocacy back into the Foundation. This will allow for increased clarity around structure, finances, and decision-making related to the Fund. This was completed in June 2023. The Fund was created in 2020 and former and ongoing grants are all given from the initial fund; to date, no additional funding has been added to the Equity Fund.

What we mean by racial equity

The Knowledge Equity Fund defines racial equity as the concept and goal of achieving fairness and justice in society by addressing historical and contemporary disparities and biases rooted in racism and racialisation. It recognizes that certain racialised peoples and ethnic groups have been historically and systematically disadvantaged and oppressed, leading to unequal access to opportunities, resources, and power.

Achieving racial equity involves proactive efforts to identify and dismantle systemic barriers and structures that perpetuate inequality. It requires rectifying past and ongoing injustices and to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, have equitable access to rights, opportunities, and outcomes.

Racial equity aims to promote consistent and sustained repair for non-White, non-US and non-Eurocentric communities and communities that continue to experience harm due to racism and and other systems of oppressions across the world. It includes authentic and intersectional, racial, ethnic and/or caste demographic representation that promotes sustained and consistent participation of people from oppressed communities around the world.

Sumber Tambahan

The Knowledge Equity Fund Committee

The Knowledge Equity Fund Committee will identify, select and work with organizations that receive grants from the Knowledge Equity Fund. This committee will be made up of both Wikimedia Foundation employees and volunteers. Currently the Knowledge Equity Fund Committee includes:

Wikimedia Foundation Staff

  • Kassia Echavarri-Queen, Director of Community Investment, Wikimedia Foundation (KEchavarriqueen (WMF))
  • Nadee Gunasena, Executive Communications Manager, Wikimedia Foundation (NGunasena_(WMF))
  • Aeryn Palmer, Legal Director, Wikimedia Foundation, (Aeryn Palmer WMF)
  • Jorge Vargas, Director, Regional Partnerships, Wikimedia Foundation (JVargas (WMF))
  • Sandister Tei, Community Relations Specialist, Wikimedia Foundation, (STei (WMF))


We also have one Foundation leader who is currently serving as an advisor to the Knowledge Equity Fund Committee. Advisors share their expertise in knowledge equity and in grantmaking, however they do not have voting rights on the committee.

  • Vignesh Ashok, Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Wikimedia Foundation

Previous committee members include:

  • Lisa Gruwell, Chief Advancement Officer, Wikimedia Foundation (Advisor)
  • Tony Sebro, Deputy General Counsel, Wikimedia Foundation
  • Janeen Uzzell, Chief Operating Officer, Wikimedia Foundation
  • Felix Nartey, Senior Program Officer, Wikimedia Foundation

Community participation

In its initial iteration, the Knowledge Equity Fund was weighted towards Foundation support. Having received feedback from community members about increased transparency and visibility into the Knowledge Equity Fund, we increased community participation and invited grantee nominations as we moved into our second round.

Recommendations and suggestions for Round 2 grantees was made through an intake form made available on Google Forms and LimeSurvey. Thank you to those that have submitted recommendations: we have received 41 suggestions that we evaluated as part of the second round.

Criteria for grantees

Potential grantees must meet the following criteria: They must be a recognized nonprofit, as the Knowledge Equity Fund can not give grants to for-profit commercial entities or individuals. They must have a proven track record of impact. We are looking to learn from established organizations with a proven track record, and are not able to support organizations which are still determining how to assess their impact. The organization’s leadership should be representative of the Black, Indigenous or racialized communities they are seeking to serve.

They must align with one of five focus areas where we will concentrate our investments. Each of these areas addresses one of the persistent structural barriers that is preventing equitable access and participation in knowledge.

  1. Supporting scholarship & advocacy focused on free knowledge and racial equity
  2. Supporting media and journalism efforts focused on racialized people around the world, in order to expand reliable media sources covering these communities
  1. Addressing unequal internet access
  2. Improving digital literacy skills that impede access to knowledge
  3. Investing in non-traditional records of knowledge (i.e. oral histories)

Knowledge Equity Fund grants are a one-time financial grant for a one- or two-year term, so grantees must be able to sustain themselves beyond this grant. It is not intended to provide a source of ongoing funding.

Grant recipients

Knowledge Equity Fund grantees are chosen by the Knowledge Equity Fund Committee based on an evaluation of their existing programmatic work and how it furthers racial equity in the context of free knowledge. Each grantee also needs to meet specific criteria, such as being a recognized nonprofit, establishing a proven track record of impact, and having a financial model that is not dependent on a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation.

First round

On 08 September 2021, we announced the first round of grantees.

The grantees are:

  • Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (US$250,000): The Arab Reporters in Journalism (ARIJ) is a nonprofit investigative journalism organization based in Jordan. ARIJ has built an expansive network of journalists across the Middle East and North Africa and has supported over 650 investigative projects on topics ranging from threats to freedom of expression, to systemic patterns of bias and discrimination. This grant will support ARIJ’s continued work in training and coaching media on how to report on issues of equity and institutional accountability, with dedicated workshops that tackle the skills, tools, and knowledge required for Arab journalists to address racial inequity in the region. Through their work, ARIJ will continue to grow the breadth of investigative journalism about inequity throughout the Arab World based on journalistic principles of facts, research, and multiple sources.
  • Borealis Racial Equity in Journalism Fund (US$250,000): Borealis is a philanthropic intermediary that takes a community-led approach to addressing injustices and driving transformative change across the United States. This grant will be provided to their Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, which invests in local news organizations led by people of color that have built long-standing relationships and trust with the diverse communities they serve. With this investment, Borealis will invest in local community-based journalism with a focus on improving how communities of color are represented and reported on throughout the media. Through this work, they will increase the amount of citable articles about leaders of color and community issues and further knowledge equity.
  • Howard University and the Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice: The Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice (US$260,000) (IIPSJ) is a nonprofit organization that was established to promote social justice in the field of intellectual property law. IIPSJ is led by professors from and graduates of the Howard University School of Law (HUSL), the oldest historically black college or university law school in the United States and a leading institution in civil rights and social justice advocacy. IIPSJ advocates for equity and inclusion throughout the intellectual property (IP) ecosystem, including shaping IP law, policies, and initiatives to promote awareness of IP protections and possibilities among communities of color. With this grant, IIPSJ will create a two-year fellowship at HUSL led by a Wikimedia Race and Knowledge Equity Fellow to explore how systemic racism and injustice impacts how marginalized communities can participate in free knowledge (including in the intellectual property ecosystem), recommendations to address these gaps in knowledge, and how knowledge can be used to advance racial equity and empowerment.
  • InternetLab (US$200,000): InternetLab is a nonprofit think tank focused on internet policy and research around critical digital issues of inclusivity and equal rights, based in São Paulo, Brazil. With this grant, InternetLab will create a two-year fellowship led by a Wikimedia Race and Knowledge Equity Fellow that will produce scholarly writings and publications, as well as educational programming on the intersection between racial equity and free knowledge in Brazil. The Fellow will conduct research on topics including what barriers impact the participation of Black and Indigenous peoples in online knowledge, and identify national and local policy solutions across the fields of intellectual property, access to technologies, education and research, affirmative action, funding and incentives, among others. This fellowship will expand the available research about how racial inequity has impacted communities of color in Brazil.
  • The Media Foundation for West Africa (US$150,000): The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting and defending the right to freedom of expression, particularly for media and human rights defenders, throughout the 16 countries in West Africa. This grant will support the MFWA’s continued work to protect the public’s right to access information and advocacy for equitable policies throughout the region. MFWA will promote investigative journalism on issues of equity and injustice as part of their focus on freedom of expression and access to information. The grant will also support the organization’s press freedom and independent journalism advocacy to help build a favorable and enabling environment for in-depth investigative reporting that encourages transparency and accountability — the lack of which often result in injustices and marginalization of the poor, underrepresented, and minority groups.
  • The SeRCH Foundation, Inc. (US$250,000): The STEM en Route to Change Foundation (SeRCH Foundation) is a non-profit organization based in the United States that focuses on the intersection of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as a tool for social justice. This grant will be used to support their flagship program, #VanguardSTEM, which asserts the value of non-traditional knowledge alongside technical expertise and uses storytelling as a means of cultural production to amplify the contributions of Black, Indigenous, women of color and non-binary people of color in STEM fields. With this investment, #VanguardSTEM will grow their collection of featured BIPOC STEM creatives, adding multimedia to each profile to enhance the storytelling capacity. This collection of open and freely licensed audio, video, and written content about women and non-binary innovators and inventors of color will expand the repository of rich content in the Commons centering the experiences and expertise of people of color in STEM and support non-traditional methods of storytelling.

For updates on the round one grantees’ work, and a discussion of how the Fund evolved for round two, please see our April 2023 blog and the individual reports by the grantees’, which provide specific updates on their progress.

Second round

On 03 August 2023, we announced the second round of grantees. They are:

  • Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara, Indonesia: The Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara, or the Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN for short), is a non-profit organization based in Indonesia that works on human rights and advocacy issues for indigenous people. They are receiving a one-year grant from the Equity Fund for $200,000 USD, and are one of the first Equity Fund grantees in Asia. AMAN will use this grant for several initiatives: firstly, to support their ongoing program to empower more indigenous people as citizen journalists so that the people reporting on issues that affect the indigenous people of the archipelago are those who most directly understand and can speak to them. Secondly, they will create an Indigenous Peoples Glossary in collaboration with indigenous journalists, for distribution to libraries and public schools. Thirdly, they will conduct research to measure public understanding about indigenous people and indigenous issues. The grant will also be used to update the AMAN website as a source and repository of information, research and journalistic articles about indigenous issues. This work will help to create more journalistic sources of information about indigenous peoples in Indonesia that can potentially be used as sources for sites including the Wikimedia projects.
Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) describes their work as a Round 2 grantee of the Knowledge Equity Fund
  • Black Cultural Archives, United Kingdom: Black Cultural Archives is a Black-led archive and heritage center that preserves and gives access to the histories of African and Caribbean people in the UK. They are the recipients of a one-year $290,000 USD grant. Their goals with this grant for the coming year include increasing research into their collections, as well as increasing the breadth of their collections for research. Another aim is to play a leading role in supporting a network of archive organizations that champion Black British history, and finally, they hope to develop programmatic work that provides access to their less traditional archive material; VHS tapes and cassettes that contain a large amount of information on Black British cultural history. This grant will be an important step in continuing to support archival work and increasing access to historical records.

“We are the nation’s home of Black British history and a beacon for Black communities at home and abroad. From heritage seekers to future leaders, school children, young people, university academic students courses, to senior academics and elders. We serve people who seek a deeper understanding of primarily British and global diasporic black history,” said Lisa Anderson, Director of the BCA. “This transformational gift will be used to advance BCA’s mission to collect, preserve and celebrate the histories of people of African and African Caribbean descent in order to inspire and give strength to society at large.”

The Black Cultural Archives describes their work as a Round 2 grantee of the Knowledge Equity Fund
  • Create Caribbean Research Institute, Commonwealth of Dominica: Create Caribbean Research Institute is the first digital humanities center in the Caribbean. They will be receiving a $75,000 grant. The grant will be used to expand Create Caribbean’s Create and Code technology education program to enable children ages 5-16 to develop information and digital literacy as well as coding skills. The funds will support the expansion of the curriculum for the camp, development of open access resources for participants and the adoption of underserved schools to implement longer term skill building. In addition, the funds will also align with the Knowledge Equity Fund’s focus area of supporting non-traditional records of knowledge: the grant will support the development of a Caribbean oral history database focused on the themes of education, information and knowledge preservation, local community development and environmental sustainability.
Create Caribbean Research Institute describes their work as a Round 2 grantee of the Knowledge Equity Fund
  • Criola, Brazil: Criola is a civil society organization, based in Rio de Janeiro, dedicated to advocating for the rights of Black women in Brazilian society. They prioritize knowledge production, research, and skills development as part of their work. They are also part of a national and international network of human rights, justice and advocacy organization focused on promoting racial equity. They will be receiving a one-year Equity Fund grant of $160,000 to enhance their research and publishing capabilities, with a specific focus on improving accessibility. Criola has over three decades of experience in human rights and advocacy, and their work with this grant will focus on knowledge production, including studies, research and surveys on the impact of racism in all areas of society, as well as courses and workshops focused on political advocacy and digital and physical security for activists.
Criola describes their work as a Round 2 grantee of the Knowledge Equity Fund
  • Data for Black Lives, United States: Data for Black Lives is a movement of activists, organizers, and scientists committed to the mission of using data to create concrete and measurable change in the lives of Black people. They will be receiving a one year grant of $100,000, which they will use to launch a Movement Scientists Fellowship. This Fellowship will match racial justice leaders with machine learning research engineers to develop data-based machine learning applications to drive change in the areas of climate, genetics, and economic justice. They will also launch a new series of educational programs, such as free and open oral histories that promote data literacy.
Data For Black Lives describes their work as a Round 2 grantee of the Knowledge Equity Fund
  • Filipino American National Historical Society, United States: The Filipino American National Historical Society, or FANHS , has a mission to gather, document and share Filipino American history through its 42 community based chapters. FANHS will be receiving a one-year grant for $70,000 from the Equity Fund. This grant will support continuing and growing FANHS’ scholarship and advocacy on accurate historical representations of Filipino Americans and counter distorted and effaced ethnic history, their collection and archival of non-traditional records of knowledge such as oral histories, and their efforts to build community digital literacy skills to enhance preservation and access to Filipino American knowledge. These records have the potential to provide additional citations and sources for accessible information about Filipino American history.
Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) describes their work as a Round 2 grantee of the Knowledge Equity Fund
  • Project Multatuli, Indonesia: Project Multatuli is an organization dedicated to non-profit journalism, especially for underreported topics, ranging from indigenous people to marginalized issues. Their goal is to produce data-based, deeply researched news stories to promote inclusive journalism and amplify the voices of marginalized communities. They will receive a $50,000 grant from the Equity Fund to support three activities over the coming year: first, training with women photojournalists from other publications around the region; second, ten in-depth reports of minority and marginalized groups, shedding light on human rights abuses, and environmental issues, and other challenges they face, including five reports that center on indigenous women groups; and third, support for administrative and technical improvements of the organization’s reporting capabilities to embrace new media, to provide the public with unrestricted access to high-quality reports across different formats.
Project Multatuli describes their work as a Round 2 grantee of the Knowledge Equity Fund

We consistently seek ideas from the Wikimedia communities for organizations that might be potential grantees in future, and welcome recommendations through this form.


Round 1 – Narrative and Financial reports

In August of 2022, the Round 1 grantees shared annual reports of their work and progress with the year of funds given by the Equity Fund, from September 2021-August 2022. Although these reports are being posted several months after they were initially produced, they provide a summary of work completed by each grantee during that 12 month period.

Community call after round 2

With the announcement of the Knowledge Equity Fund’s round 2 grantees, we’ve seen a lot of questions and feedback about the Knowledge Equity Fund, how the Committee works and how the work of the grantees will contribute to the projects and to the movement. To help answer these questions, the Knowledge Equity Fund Committee will host a community conversation on Friday, October 6, 2023 at 1400 UTC to hear ideas, concerns and to answer questions. The Committee would also like to hear ideas for how the fund should be used in the upcoming third round of grantmaking.

To register for this conversation, please email us at You can also send us questions beforehand. The call will be held in English and we will have interpretation in Spanish; if you would like interpretation into other languages please let us know. If you’re not able to attend, we will also share notes and a written list of Q&A after the call.

Call notes

Detailed notes from the community call can be found below. In terms of next steps, the Knowledge Equity Fund Committee will be reviewing the suggestions, ideas and feedback shared during the call and will share more soon.

Knowledge Equity Fund Community Call - October 6, 2023

Committee Introduction to the Knowledge Equity Fund

Fuller history of the Fund can be found on Meta

  • The Fund was created in late 2020, as a response to the demands of racial justice and more attention to be paid to the role of race and racism in knowledge production that came after the murder of Geroge Floyd in the summer of 2020, as well as the South African Fallist movement. Also to acknowledge that 2020 was a major catalyst but Black Lives Matter movement started in 2012 with the killing of Trayvon Martin.
  • There was global recognition of the role of race and racism and how it plays out in the knowledge structures.
  • We also see connections within the 2030 movement strategy commitment to  knowledge equity.
  • Led by the Executive Director at the time, the Fund was established as an effort to address the systemic disparities in the movement.
  • 2020 saw all travel activities of the movement and the Foundation halted, which resulted in the underspend and this is where the funding for the Knowledge Equity Fund came from. Money was moved to Tides to give us time to figure out how to distribute the grants.
  • We are familiar with the term “technical debt” and are less comfortable thinking about the “knowledge debt” and how that is created by systemic inequalities for example: anti-literacy laws, migration of colonial archives and destruction of libraries, and the systems of racialization that deemed some people human and some people subhuman.

The Process of the Selection of Grantees

  1. This is done by nominations - open process for nominating grantees through a community survey
    • Eligibility
      1. Does this organization address free knowledge and racial equity?
      2. Are they led by the community they serve?
      3. Is there a robust history with grant management?
      4. What is the area of focus (does it align with one or more of grant criteria)?
      5. Does the project require less than 20% of their annual budget (to not create dependency)?
      6. Is the organization a registered not-for-profit in their jurisdiction?
    • Align with one or more grant criteria
      1. Supporting scholarship & advocacy focused on free knowledge and racial equity
      2. Expanding reliable media sources that cover BIPOC
      3. Addressing unequal internet access
      4. Improving digital literacy skills that impede access to knowledge
      5. Investing in non-traditional records of knowledge (i.e. oral histories)
  2. Committee vote is taken to proceed to next round of vetting
  3. Interviews and identifying potential impact  - understanding how the organizations measure impact by having conversations with potential grantees. The Committee also looks at:
    • Technical capability
    • Region of the World / regional gaps
    • Desired impact / systems change potential
  4. Committee vote is taken to proceed to next round
  5. Legal and financial due diligence
  6. Conversations with Local Affiliates

History of the First Two Rounds of Grants  

More details can be found on Meta

Round 1:

  1. Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) which is a Jordan based organization that works on capacity building of a big network of journalists. Through this fund ARIJ was able to produce many media articles that would serve our community of Wikipedians.  
  2. Borealis is a philanthropic intermediary that takes a community-led approach to addressing injustices and driving transformative change across the United States. They used the grant to provide their Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, allowing the increase of entries about leaders of color.  
  3. The Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice (IIPSJ) of Howard University in the USA has created a fellowship to address the gaps in knowledge and how knowledge can be used to advance racial equity and empowerment.
  4. The InternetLab, another grantee that addresses important issues in our ecosystem created a fellowship to produce writings, publications and educational programming on the intersection of racial equity and free knowledge in Brazil.  
  5. The Media Foundation for West Africa, a non-governmental organization working on freedom of expression and speech across the West African countries utilized the grant fund to produce content to bridge the gap in certain topics to avoid more underrepresentation of minority groups (a topic that Wikimedia highlighted in Wikimania Cape Town).
  6. The STEM en Route to Change Foundation is a non-profit that has a non-traditional method of storytelling to amplify the contributions of Black, Indigenous, women of color and non-binary people of color in STEM fields. That helped in more content about them to be used in our Wiki projects.

See also the round 1 reports.

Round 2:

For round two, we have another outstanding group of grantees:  

  1. Data for Black Lives is a US non-profit that works on digital rights and literacy and will focus on machine learning and AI that affect people’s lives (and our very own Wikipedia).
  2. AMAN, the Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago, an Indonesian organization that will focus on the rights of media and communication to strengthen them; and we know how much the bias of media impacts the quality of our Wikipedia articles.
  3. Black Cultural Archives is a UK black led archive and heritage center. They will use the grants to collect and preserve black history.
  4. Create Caribbean Research Institute, the first center of its kind in the Caribbean, will use the funds in capacity building and digital literacy as well as non-traditional records of knowledge. Again another aspect that will help us Wikipedians to document history and heritage on our encyclopedia.
  5. Criola is a civil society organization from Brazil that works on Black Brazilian women’s rights. They focus on education and knowledge production. They will enhance that work and add studies on the impact of racism in all areas of society.
  6. Filipino American National Historical Society is based in the US. They will work on collecting archives of non-traditional records of Filipino-American knowledge.
  7. Project Multatuali is a non-profit for journalism based in Indonesia. They will work on capacity building of women journalists. They will provide the public with unrestricted access to high-quality reports across different formats.

It is worth mentioning that most of the work in these grants is under a free license.  

What is the budget for the Knowledge Equity Fund?

  • The Knowledge Equity Fund was established with a $4.5M USD underspend due to COVID travel and event cancellations.
  • During the first two rounds we have given out $2,268,882 USD.
  • After the first round of funding all funds were moved from Tides, back to the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • There is $2,231,118 USD remaining in the Fund.

How are We Making The Connection

We contacted user groups and connected the grantees with them geographically or thematically, explaining the objects of the fund. We are also trying to create new synergies between Wikimedia user groups and external groups to increase our impact.

A few examples of connections we made are:

  • Project Multatuli, which we connected with Wikimedia Indonesia
  • Create Caribbean were connected with Noircir, Wiki Cari UG, Whose Knowledge, Projet:Université de Guyane and WikiMujeres
  • Black Cultural Archives were connected with Noircir, Whose Knowledge and Wikimedia UK
  • Criola were connected with Whose Knowledge, WikiMujeres and Mujeres (mulheres) LatinoAmericanas in Wikimedia and
  • Data for Black Lives which we connected with AfroCrowd and Black Lunch Table

Through these connections, we have seen positive synergies within the movement at large


Question 1: Is there some mechanism for review of how each supported project worked out for improving knowledge equity?

Answer: Grantees are expected to produce reports at the end of their grant period and we publish them on Meta. When vetting organizations we assess how they are currently supporting racial equity work in their regions. From the beginning we try to understand how organizations measure their impact and how we can support them. We accept the reports they usually produce in any language and sometimes they are quantitative or qualitative.

The goals of the Knowledge Equity Fund are long-term systems change. It is similar to measuring the impact of Wikipedia - it is continuous and evident as we produce more articles and in the long term, address different kinds of biases.

Question 2: Is the WMF implementing any mechanism to evaluate the actual impact on knowledge equity - and perhaps specifically through our own content projects. I think this may be very beneficial for evaluating the program as a whole, but I imagine it takes some time, so even if you plan to do it, it may not be ready yet.

Answer: After the first round, we have been focused on the connection with the Wikipedia projects and are working on a way to measure that impact. An example is how we’ve measured impact with ARIJ. To see the impact, we connected them with Wikimedians of the Levant and we looked at the number of articles produced, how they address racial justice and how they deal with media sources. We know we can do better at how we connect these grants to the movement and learned this from our grant to ARIJ.

Adding the examples of AMAN and Project Multatuli, we connected them with Wikimedia Indonesia and we have had calls where the organizations and Wikimedia Indonesia have discussed the different areas they can work on together such as indigenous resources that can be used in Wikipedia.

AMAN has an initiative to build an Indigenous People’s Glossary, so Indonesian people in general can benefit from this resource. As indigenous peoples are marginalized, sometimes we still use some insensitive words toward them, and even some Indonesian Wikipedia articles still use these words. We cannot rely solely on resources from outside of the indigenous people’s realm to define who they are or what we should call them. By having this initiative, we firmly believe our community can benefit from this Glossary as one of useful resources for Indonesian indigenous people related topics.

Project Multatuli is a non-profit journalism organization working with indigenous women topics for this grant and they also can collaborate to empower more indigenous people as citizen journalists.

Question 3: Does this start from Wikimedia groups saying “I need more sources in this area, here’s a group that could help with this?” Or does it come from some external group applying for a grant and then us trying to make it fit with our existing programs?

Answer: One of the learnings from the first round was understanding that the community really wanted to be involved in the process, and so we now send a form to the community to nominate potential grantees. It’s not an open call application process.

Question 4: I'd like to understand how the Committee is thinking about equitable access to knowledge as it relates to equitable access to the internet because I feel, at this point in our collective history, one cannot be achieved without the other.

Answer: Equitable access to the internet is one of the five areas of funding. We agree that addressing internet access is an important part of this work and each new round of applicants presents an opportunity to engage with organizations doing important work in all five areas of funding, including access to the internet. We certainly encourage everyone to nominate any organizations doing this work for round 3.

Question 5: Did you ask the community what organizations to support as a starting point? If so, where did that happen?

Answer: We did that at the end of round 1, on the old FAQ page.

Question 6: Is it possible to fund organizations working with endangered languages, digitisation as well as revitalisation?

Answer: This falls under 1 of the 5 categories we support (investing in non-traditional records of knowledge (i.e. oral histories)). There are a number of grantees in round 2 looking at endangered languages, such as Create Caribbean and the Indonesian organizations who are both working with Indigenous communities in their regions. Please nominate any organizations working in this area and we can take a look.

Question 7: There is significant concern within the community about donor funds being used for endeavors not directly related to the WMF's primary responsibilities of supporting and maintaining the various Wikimedia Projects. Before issuing the third round of grants, would you consider conducting a secure poll to ascertain whether the community supports these grants, or if they would prefer the funds be redirected to internal projects?

Answer: We understand that the equity fund has not been popular with parts of the movement. We understand that it can be sensitive to fund projects outside the movement. It is important to go back to why the Equity Fund was created in the first place. We wanted to address the knowledge gap by creating a knowledge ecosystem that the movement can draw from. That is why one of the five areas to fund is around expanding reliable media sources.

We’re looking for feedback and deeper engagement on the Equity Fund which is why we’re hosting this community call to hear that kind of feedback from the community. In terms of re-allocating these funds, this is not a zero-sum game. It’s not about the Foundation focusing on knowledge equity vs redirecting the funds to other projects.

This fund shows that the movement isn’t working on the side, but working on the objective of the sum of all knowledge by contributing to knowledge equity. We have to address certain issues from the ecosystem such as knowledge equity, racial bias, gender equity, it will all contribute to a better ecosystem.

Question 8: Can we help grantees make the outputs of their work available under a free license?  

Answer: This is a requirement of the grant and we worked hard to make sure this was clear to grantees. We have included provisions in the grant agreement that state that the outputs of the work funded by the grant should be available under a free license.

Question 9: You mentioned earlier how you’re trying to leverage the usefulness of the outcomes of these projects to the Wikimedia efforts (multiplier effects). I am curious if you see a role for that during the grant writing phase as well (like a buddy system?) or if that would be more discouraging than helpful?

Answer: We reach out to organizations that are nominated by community members, to learn about their organization and the impact of a potential grant . In round 2, we tried to introduce the grantees with affiliates working in that area. We also check in with the local affiliates to see that there are no concerns and we connect them to talk about potential ways to support one another in their efforts. An example is Wikimedia Brazil worked very closely with the InternetLab in round 1 and used its research to support their work. They are also meeting with Criolla to discuss how to support them on their project.

Question 10: Is there a start and stop date for when nominations are open? This would be useful to have on the meta page and the Google form.

Answer: It is a rolling nomination process and there are no dates. It is a great suggestion to highlight more prominently the community nomination process on the meta page.

Question 11: It sounds like you all learned a lot from round 1 to round 2; given that, what have you learned from round 2 that you will apply to future rounds?

Answer: The bigger changes were connecting the dots with the movement and the grantees. We also read the comments on Wikimedia-l and consider them at meetings. We always try to improve our efforts and are open to feedback; please feel free to email us feedback at

Question 12: I think it would help to focus on specifically how to connect the grants to a measurable outcome. That is the key gap that would actually help address the core concerns expressed in that question around redirecting funds.

Answer: People like to see numbers but beyond that, this really is a long term position to create connections and support organizations that have been doing work in the knowledge equity space for a long time; this will in the long run strengthen our projects. It is unlikely that in one year you will see huge changes. We want to support the ecosystem, which continues to be available for contributors on the projects.

If you’d like to collaborate with grantees and be connected to them, please let us know.

Question 13: Is there a mechanism for ensuring that we're doing as much within the movement to support complementary knowledge equity projects organized or facilitated by Wikimedians?  That seems like a lovely way to extend the work to [countering systemic bias in the longer future].

Answer: Knowledge equity and the connection to movement strategy is a key question on the application for Wikimedia Foundation grants. A number of affiliates that are contributing to knowledge equity are receiving funds from the Foundation. It is definitely work on our projects  that is supported by the grant programs.

Question 14: Would you consider paired grants for a future round where some money goes to an affiliate and some to an external organization so they can, for example, generate sources that an affiliate then uses in their programs?

Answer: We definitely need more experimentation in this area of paired or matching grants. Grant innovation!

Suggestions & Comments:

  • I think it would be really helpful if the movement group who nominated the round 2 grantees would post on Meta exactly *WHY* they think this grant will help their own work.
  • I can’t be alone as a user group/individual that really supports the Knowledge Equity Fund, but not sure how to best demonstrate/note that support other than showing up to calls like this. I would like to uplift that this work is happening. How can we support this work? I don’t want to get into a talk page discussion. I also want to recognize that as this is now 2023, and so many of the organizations that promised support in 2020 are pulling back, I applaud the Foundation for staying true and keeping with its promise.
  • The word “nomination” shows up only once on the Knowledge Equity Fund page on meta - given the importance of the nomination to finding grantees I think there should be a lot more guidance for the community. It would really help connect the dots of why this work is important to the movement, right now they’re just out there talking about their (great) work in terms that are less familiar to people whose only frame of reference is the Wikimedia movement.
  • Deadlines and process for community nominations is key. Rolling nominations are fine but people need a rough idea of when the deadline or last day would be.
  • Spanish: Podria ser posible crear como un grupo de apoyo con grupo de usuarios y proyectos que trabajen por la equidad del conocimiento  como un espacio consultivo?

Translation: Could it be possible to create a support group with a group of users and projects that work for knowledge equity as a consultative space?

Follow-up from Knowledge Equity Fund community call

The Knowledge Equity Fund Committee wants to share some next steps building on the feedback and ideas we heard from the community call on Friday, 6 October, 2023. As you can see from the notes above, all of the feedback we heard fell into three main areas - Improving communication, Clarifying impact, and Connecting the dots with the movement. Below, we’ve detailed some next steps and changes we’ll be making in each of these areas:

(1) Improving Communication

This community call was an opportunity for the Committee to directly answer questions about the Knowledge Equity Fund. We learned that some of our processes around the structure and nomination process for grant candidates are not widely understood or well documented here on Meta. We acknowledge that we can do a better job of communications and outreach to the Wikimedia movement as a Committee. Moving forward, this will include:

  • A significant overhaul of the Knowledge Equity Fund Meta page, by the end of November. We’ll more clearly outline how community members can get involved and nominate candidates for the grant, answer common questions and reorganize the Meta page.
  • A regular cadence of community calls, with the next one kicking off in the second week of December. Building on this community call, we will publish timing for a series of community calls for round 3 through next year. We will kick this off with a call in early December to discuss nominations and areas of funding for Round 3. We will announce a date for that call shortly.

(2) Clarifying impact

We received several questions about how we are evaluating impact, generally in terms of knowledge equity and also impact on the Wikimedia projects. As we acknowledged on the call, there are different ways to demonstrate impact on knowledge equity. We are used to measuring impact in terms of increased content on the Wikimedia projects - edits, article count, etc. With the Knowledge Equity Fund, we are funding changes to the ecosystem which need to be considered on a longer time horizon in order to see change. This may mean that we are talking about different measures of impact - such as activities with equity-based outcomes, instead of specified content metrics. We recognize the need to communicate better about why supporting each grantee, ultimately supports knowledge equity on our projects. We want to explore with affiliates and partners to:

  • Communicate a clear understanding of how Knowledge Equity Fund grantees measure impact. For all future Knowledge Equity Fund grantees, when we announce their grant we will include a summary of how their organization currently measures impact and how it is related to knowledge equity. Knowledge Equity Fund grants are general operating grants that fund the organization’s overall work, so their current measures for impact will be most informative. For our Round 2 Knowledge Equity Fund grantees, we will include clear qualitative reporting about outcomes based on their existing activities and measurements in their annual report and how it is connected to free knowledge.
  • Conduct outreach to experts in academia, researchers, etc. who have expertise in measuring efforts in racial justice and equity. As we measure short term outcomes at the end of the annual grant, we will better communicate the longer term changes we hope to make towards our knowledge equity goals. We will publish this list on Meta and invite feedback and suggestions from the communities as well.

(3) Connecting the dots with the movement

During the call, we also heard several questions and ideas about how Knowledge Equity Fund grantees can connect more closely to the movement. The work of Knowledge Equity Fund grantees is meant to enrich the broader free knowledge ecosystem, including but not limited to the Wikimedia projects directly. Still, we acknowledge that there is an opportunity to build stronger connections between the work of Knowledge Equity Fund grantees to the Wikimedia projects in order to advance our goals of knowledge equity and racial justice. As a Committee, we’re still exploring the next steps in this area and will continue to develop our ideas here. A couple of initial ideas include:

  • We support the suggestion of a community led community of practice for all of the people who are working on this within the movement - including Equity Fund grantees.
  • We will be more explicit about which movement organizations are being connected to and working with Equity Fund grantees, which is a new practice that we began with the second round of grantees.

We will share more next steps on this third area by the end of November 2023.