Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Iteration 1/Advocacy/2
movement is flexible and adaptable -> people feel heard and validated -> better retention of activists -> movement diversity -> diverse impact
R2: Community actively seeks and provides a good environment and tailored pathways that attracts more people (professionals and volunteers) from a variety and diversity of languages and cultural backgrounds to engage in advocacy for Wikimedia on a local or global level.
Despite many efforts undertaken up to date, our community still struggles with adequate representation of human diversity and knowledge in its projects. At the same time simply providing enabling, inviting environment is not enough if the dominant cultures and processes support the old ways and are inflexible in accommodating new problems and forms of expressing self-determination. As a result the less/non-represented communities do not feel our community is ready to support their cause and they don’t share their knowledge.
At the same time advocacy is a very Western concept and it lacks a joint understanding, even when we see it being nested in the movement’s principles. What is a simple thing to do in one part of the world may be a risk and harmful for people in other parts while those advocates and their stories are not even that visible in the entire movement.
The movement has to find ways to make contribution and advocacy be less one-dimensional and dominated by the Western discourse and experience. First step into this direction is to create supportive, positive and flexible spaces, models and tools within the movement. These spaces are responsive and adaptable if we find that they do not cater to specific community needs. They make people feel heard and esteemed. It’s is a question of attitude and how adaptable our movement is to new ideas and diverse experiences.
An additional approach is to fine-tune the community information flow to be more receptive to pertinent issues that our individuals, groups and organizations face. Fine-tuning means inscribing such attention at every level of international community interaction, including the language and narratives we use to talk about changing our circumstances of operation. Being more receptive means actively seeking information and people working in those places and developing with them adequate responses that they guide and take on. Finally, showcasing these collaborations and work to encourage others by example.