Recommendation # 11: Creating a Wikipedia Diversity Newsletter
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
To create a monthly newsletter with which to spread any news in regards to the diversity projects, tools, studies and community experiences - any type of diversity both in terms of topic (gender, culture, geography, etc.) and scope (content, community, governance).
Q 2 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
A newsletter is a common communication channel in order to group various kinds of information relative to a topic. A diversity newsletter is related to one of the three focus of diversity: “finding ways to increase awareness of privilege; to overcome related cultural, institutional, technological and behavioral barriers to inclusion; and to bring about knowledge equity”.
Considering that there is overlap between diversity types and user groups (gender gap, aboriginal languages, etc.), there is the chance to share knowledge and practices. We assume it is easier to raise awareness on a second diversity type once an editor is already aware of one (e.g. gender to cultural diversity).
We also assume that the current newsletters in Education and Library are a way to put people in touch and have several advantages we can learn from.
The content of the newsletter would be divided in the following topics:
- Stories (user groups, communities, wikimedia and world)
- Research digests and analysis
- New tools and stats updates
- Recommendations and goal suggestions
- Partnerships (breaking barriers)
- Diversity related events reports
As an example of content that could be included:
“For those of you who are interested in "small" Wikipedias and Indigenous languages, here's a new academic paper co-signed by yours truly. More info about the Atikamekw Wikipetcia project and the involvement of Wikimedia Canada” (link).
Q 3a What will change because of the Recommendation?
- The main idea is that everyone gets educated on diversity. To keep the diversity topics under the focus of attention. Sharing “news”, “experiences”, "tools" and "facts" can stimulate more work, better coordination and collaboration between the movement stakeholders.
- Most importantly, a newsletter can be a way to highlight important changes on diversity. For example, it can be a tool to monitor and evaluate the outcome of these recommendations after they have been delivered and some of them implemented.
- In addition, a newsletter can be a way of keeping accountability for the resources spent on diversity. Any user group dedicated to encourage diversity should report to the newsletter. The community asks for accountability: “Support should be tied with result. There cannot be money spent for minorities without accountability just to claim that diversity is “covered”.”
- The newsletter can also be seen as a historical repository on diversity, a collection of content that is useful in order to have an historical perspective of the general topic. In this case, given the different sorts of content that it could publish, it would be useful in order to introduce anyone to the diversity concerns.
- Finally, it could be a way to settle the common language to talk about diversity in the entire movement. It has been reported that “Before implementing diversification strategy, there should be a clear scoping and definition of diversity”. The newsletter can help in spreading the specific topics and make a taxonomy clear for such a complex term as diversity.
Q3b How does Recommendation relate to the current structural reality? Does it keep something, change something, stop something, or add something new?
It brings more visibility to all the work done on diversity.
It does not alter Wikimedia in a radical way but it helps in spreading diversity across all the different sections and groups.
Q4a. Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?
Diversity implies supporting those voices that are not being represented or have no vote. In this case, some people might consider that some content should not exist or some people should not be in the conversation. Some conflicts (on a little scale) may arise, but if we believe in a wider and bigger movement and collaborative knowledge, it is totally worth it.
Q4b. What could be done to mitigate this risk?
Clear communication and being pervasive to all spaces can be useful in order to normalize all the goals and perspectives in diversity until they are mainly assumed.
Q5. Why this Recommendation? What assumptions are you making?
There is no particular theory to back this recommendation but the constant demand for a more structured strategy for strategy and the need for a) clarifying what diversity is, b) how can we join efforts and not duplicate.
We assume that the newsletter communication channel it is successfully for other topics (e.g. education, GLAM, etc.) in order to keep people updated with everything relevant to their common interests and sustaining their relationships.
Q6. How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
This is not related to any WG in particular but all that have some sort of overlapping with diversity (community health, technology, resources) because at some point the information sent in this newsletter may also be related to their areas.
Q7. Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations?
It would be an excellent way to follow on their development and communicating it to the communities.
Q^. What is the timeframe of this Recommendation in terms of when it should be implemented? 2020, 2021, etc. Does it have an urgency or priority? Does this timeframe depend on other Recommendations being implemented before or after it?
The earliest the better, since there are many community experiences (i.e. women in red, whose knowledge, etc.), research (i.e. on gender gap), tools, etcetera that might be covered by this newsletter.
Q8. Who needs to make a decision on this Recommendation?
Probably the people on Community Engagement might be related more closely with this.
Q10. What type of Recommendation is it?
Simple. It would follow on the path of other newsletters.
Q12. What are the concerns, limiting beliefs, and challenges for implementing this Recommendation?
The main concern would be that Wikipedia is not a social network. The aim of developing user pages is not to encourage personal relationships but to facilitate coordination and assess the community diversity.