Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Notes
March 7 2019
The discussion was about review of scoping and submission
As a follow up from the previous discussions, Jorge communicated to Walaa, who responded positively about participation in the Working Group activities, other Working group members had also taken an active participation role asynchronously working on the scoping document by providing comments and suggestions.
The scoping document had three main sections to review which were evenly distributed between the Working Group members on the call;
- Current situation: reduced to 3 paragraphs by merging similar ideas, and removing links that would be added to the Working Group meta page.
- Rationale for the scope/area of inquiry was broadened to focus on Movement Stakeholders, rather than the Foundation.
- Merging the overlapping key scoping questions to 10, and community questions to 3.
Additional information and an appendix were the final sections to be reviewed before coming up with a complete scoping document that was shared with the Core Team.
- Diversity is a wide topic which is also connected with other Working Groups, the white papers developed by the Working Group members were crucial in developing content for the scoping document and process.
March 3 2019
Discussion focused on merging the collected white papers into the scoping template
- The previous meeting had focused on completing restructuring of all the white papers into scoping template. These would be merged into the final scoping document.
- This meeting was aimed at having all the documents consolidated into one scoping document.
- Further guidance and clarification were provided by the Core Team on the different sections (area of inquiry, current situation, rationale for the scope, key questions, and others). These areas need to be summarised for the final scoping questions.
- The content needs to be clear, overlaps would need to be merged, to create an access point for translation, bring out the essence of the conversation without using so many questions, and make the work of communities easier when the final scoping document is uploaded on meta, and needs to be ready on 7 March taking into account possible revisions by the Core Team.
- Community conversations will start two weeks before the summit, and translation needs to be ready by then.
- If the final scoping document is a shortened summary, other individual documents/white papers will be put on meta to preserve other ideas.
February 23 2019
The discussion was mainly about scoping, Working Group participation and virtual facilitation
Virtual facilitation: An update on the current task of identifying the important questions of Diversity, by the Working Group was provided to Orla Cronin, the Virtual Facilitator. Orla provided an overview on facilitation, work allocation in a workshop mode support, and some of the resources to be used for facilitated sessions.
Previous meeting updates: A follow up was made on the questions regarding physical disability, Jorge Vargas had spoken to Volker from the Wikimedia Foundation who is already conducting research and a White paper regarding this diversity. This White paper can be used for further discussions.
Scoping update and other topics: Susun had made use of the Scoping template, other members are request to make use of this scoping template regarding the white papers that were written earlier.
- Working Group members who have not drafted the white papers are advised to contribute in collating, merging, and synthesising various scoping documents into a representative and comprehensive document. If members can volunteer to merge (copy and paste) all the whitepapers into the scoping document, then the work can be done by 28 February.
- The Core Team can also look into possibilities of an extension to the deadline in case of challenges.
- Other topics that have not been included in the scoping document like ‘geographical diversity’ will be formatted in the form of the Scoping template.
- When the scoping documents are ready by the deadline of 28 February 2019, translation of content for community conversations, and distribution on various mailing lists will happen for feedback.
- Working Group members will be able to carry out research and analysis from the above feedback and also answering questions for recommendations.
- There will also be a scoping review in Berlin, when the Working Groups are presenting their work.
Other potential topics missing/pending to investigate included the following;
- Physical disabilities (visual, etc)
- Mental health / mental disabilities
- Lack of digital skills / digital literacy
- Variance in educational systems
Working Group participation
Inactive Working Group members explained reasons for their absence but also expressed commitment to find time and follow up on tasks assigned to them
Next call scheduling
A majority of the members preferred to hold the next call in a week's time when other working group members have worked on the final scoping document, including reaching out to them through asynchronous means.
February 9 2019
The meeting discussed merging of members' white papers, updates from the coordinators' meeting, and /Engaging with the members that are participating less/Materials from the diversity conference/Iberoconf
How to make the collected documents merge (More complete picture of what our work is / What we want to achieve): There are now around five documents that have been compiled basing on What we want to accomplish and can be merged during the next call (with facilitation);
- Representation and Gender (by Astrid Carlsen)
- Indigenous Populations (by Eddie Avila)
- Diversity, languages and new audiences (by Galder Gonzalez)
- Diversity: Language (by Amir Aharoni)
- Historic marginalization (by Susun Wilkinson)
- Camelia Boban is preparing the document What I learned about diversity in our movement? which was assigned and is work in progress)
- Iván Martínez: Colonial and postcolonial bias on Wikimedia (work in progress)
Update from discussion with the Virtual Facilitation: Camelia talked with Orla Cronin (shared a facilitation document) about the organization of the Diversity Working Group and possible ways for helping like engaging people in the discussions, but she will need a heads up of one week, and will not be taking notes. Camelia will get back to Orla about:
- Getting involved in the walk-through and merging of the documents.
- An email will be sent to other members to get confirmation about recording meetings
Update from the Coordinators' meeting: There is logistical support to the Working Groups.
- AT Iberoconf there was a conversation between Working Group representatives on
- How could we (Diversity Working Group) integrate ourselves with other Working Groups. Diversity is an angle around human characteristics, access to technology, and influences all other eight Working Groups, there’s need to share our work with the other Working Groups (the Core Team or someone from the Diversity Working Group can send an update regarding the progress)
- The Community Health Working Group has five broad categories important in regards to Community Health and each one works on one topic.
- One thing to consider, is identifying, documenting and merging five or more different types of diversity issues (gender, language, different physical abilities) for example:
- Journalist query for Women in Red as something that works on content and also about Iberocoop who are organized around Roman languages.
- African diaspora in contrast to people living in Africa. How well are they organized and how well people know about this? This is a different type of diversity and group might give a thought to this.
- One thing to consider, is identifying, documenting and merging five or more different types of diversity issues (gender, language, different physical abilities) for example:
- Diversity Working Group needs to have external experts (just like some of the other Working Groups) to hold conversations on topics such as disability, all matters around accessibility have changed as there have been devices that cover some of the challenges faced by people with disabilities.
Material of diversity conference: We need some information from the Wikimedia Foundation regarding the work that is being done in order to improve the compatibility of screens and other platforms (ios, android) for their (disability people’s ) contribution.
- People with different mental disabilities, especially autism spectre. There are people like this in our movement and it especially applies to conferences where we want to be inclusive and open to differently abled people.
- A point that needs to be redirected to the attention of the Product and Technology Working Group for ideas.
- We have the responsibility to use not only Wikipedia but also other projects. Wiki Mujeres Lainhas a project that looks at people with mental disabilities using Wikiquote.
- We need white paper/position paper that will involve interviewing or speaking to some of the contributors to our movement or talk to people who would be working with such contributors. There are some volunteers we can speak to (contributor to education project, who attended the CEE conference 2018)
- There is also a list of people in Community Health Working Group for people with disabilities, which can be shared, it could include people in Indaba communities?
- The biggest issue is interface via technology and access for a example a device that allows to talk and transcribes speech to characters and an editor then follows-up improving what voice recognition has missed.
- The question is also access to this type of technology. It might be out there, but not necessarily available for everyone everywhere.
- We need to diversify within our diversity related conversations. There might be different perspectives regarding a particular challenge depending upon geography, social order and language.
- This is a question that we must bring to our own communities. Having conversations with members who face disabilities and contribute to our movement.
- Sam will be chatting with someone from the Nigerian community or the Wiki Indaba community regarding this conversation.
- Working Group can propose (in list) to have chats with people with disabilities.
Engaging with the members that are participating less: The Working Group has a diverse list of Members, but has not heard from some of them in a long time, It would be good to have their input, we are missing a lot of geographical diversity.
- Reaching out has been tried in other Working Groups. In some cases this has led to people resigning from the group and some cases leading to increased participation.
- It could be access capabilities, People who live in places where technology has issues may not be able to participate not only because they don’t want to, but they just can’t, and this is something that can be fixed.
- Although some members have not been present in calls, they have reviewed and added comments to documents.
- Jorge Vargas will reach out to the missing members and inquire
- There is good interest in activities of the Working Group, every Working Group has one member at Iberocoop.
- The Diversity Working Group can conduct an activity to consolidate feedback from the Iberocoop members and collect answers/feedback.
- Could probably make use of the Telegram group set up for Iberoconf 2019 to have a conversation about the themes of the Working Group.
Pending topics to address: Some of these topics are intertwined, so we need to make sure that they are covered, since they are coming up in the different documents that we are working on. We need to make a list so that we ensure we encompass all aspects of Diversity. The Working Group members are requested to take up any of these topics;
- Physical disabilities (visual, etc): we asked for input to Helaine Blumenthal (Wiki Education) and Comp1089 (from Para-Wikimedians Community User Group) but haven’t answered
- Mental health / mental disabilities (Andrea Kleiman - user Jaluj in eswiki - started a project in Wikiquotes in a hospital)
- Socio/economical (Eddie+Susun)
- Lack of digital skills / digital literacy (Galder’s document)
- Ageism (Galder’s document has a small section on this topic as does Susun’s, Ivan Martinez is interested in this topic)
- Diversity of education systems
Scheduling the next call: Working Group had decided to have weekly calls, which are good up to a time when scoping is complete, then take it back to the bi-weekly schedule. Weekends might be preferable for some members.
- The next call can be scheduled next week, the doodle is still active and can be modified t include a weekend.
- This group has shown that they can work asynchronously. The next call would be an understanding call (not a discussion call) and taking things forward to determine who does what?, the reading list can be done during the week.
- This can be a very productive way for using our time.
January 11, 2019
The discussion was about the following topics:
Merging collected documents into one voice
Amir shared document is very instructive. One of the problems it highlights is working in multiple languages. On the existing platform it is easier to contribute to English Wikipedia than on Yoruba Wikipedia, the user interface does not support all the characters. Amir shared a newly launched extension for the newly launched languages in Nigeria. The biggest issue in contributing non English language is the character support.
Everybody from the Working Group needs to read the document, Amir wrote about this because it’s her domain, if people would write similar documents on gender, ethnic diversity and support, it would be a particularly useful outcome for the group.
The Serbian script couldn’t be translated without any other method besides Google translate. It is not intuitive, for example the name is spelled differently and the script is also different. There is no ease of connecting people to where they belong.
In the document, Incubator was mentioned to require an easier start for beginners to understand, resources can be a controversial discussion for some people as some communities might need different resources than others, and a factor that can affect people from participating for example privileges of volunteering like the Wikimedia Foundation’s hardware program for people who might not be able to participate from diverse populations like indigenous communities such as Latin America. Amir will incorporate these and any other ideas that can be added: please email or add it to the document.
The main message of the document other than policy changes is that we are special and we need to look at diversity at a very special level, not everyone is able to volunteer, people are not that privileged.
Sam Oyeyele is working on geographic diversity which includes language diversity as well. It is important that everyone in the group draft something that falls in your domain, be bold with your ideas and proposals: by creating this, we might identify common themes and that could be the first step in merging of the document, once we merge the document we can share it with the (other) Working Groups to identify common areas that are overlapping.
Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight (here as a liaison from the Community Health Working Group), has a background in working with the diversity related projects, this is needed (Rosie) because there is an overlap between the Diversity Working Group’s work and Community Health.
- She asked if the Diversity Working Group had considered discussing ‘ageism’: people who have time on their hands and people who are differently abled.
- Both of these topics had been discussed but not in detail. We can not just look at post internet, we need to look at pre-internet, and not focusing on “things” that just happen under the bus.
If we do have a list of different kind of diversity (like language diversity), we might be able to facilitate moving a step further, without focusing on historic representation: history typically told from the side of the Victor: so typically concerned that the stories we represent have a balanced opinion, not European focus or simply what’s happening right now, but look at the history of what happened before/in the past.
- It is quite difficult to bring to bear upon people who have taken to Wikipedia platform to only prove or make a point.
- Many new languages and communities find it very difficult to create a new project. If we make things easier to collaborate there will be diversity. We need to open our projects to more collaborations. By making these procedural requirements easy, our chapters and affiliates will be more diverse.
Galder shared the languages he’s working with ( kaqchikel, maputxe, kitxua, nasa, maya yucateco, nahuatl, kurdish, amazigh, guarani, quiché, q´eqchi´ and kashinawa) - through a course about language activism, where he identified “something that can be made with the kaqchikel language ”
How do we support the communities that are not in the mainstream of both technology and contributors, diversity of participation.
- There are examples where underrepresented communities can be involved in different aspects of sharing knowledge, it doesn’t need to be only editing. It could be about analyzing the information about themselves on Wikipedia and working with allies to produce the content.
- It’s intersectionality, where you have several issues at once like nationality, gender, age, e.t.c which was addressed partly by for example having partnerships with organisations, but this might not be enough
- We need opinions on other people who are experts in diversity.
Draft of recommendations on diversity (Wikimedia Summit in Berlin)
What are we going to do, what can we focus on, something like a long document with footnotes or a small document with easier points, how are the Community Health Working Group making recommendations?
- In a 2 step process:
- Recommendations to the core team that are non-controversial that don’t need a lot of questions, and can be discussed at All hands
- Secondly, discuss topics most important for Community Health, just like the Diversity group is doing.
- Community Health Working Group has grouped these in 5 documents which will be synchronized into one document.
- The other thing done is to have 5 people who are liaisons in other WGs in an effort to learn, contribute, bring back and include overlaps/synergies with other Working Groups.
The Diversity Working Group can have timelines to have different people work on sections and give deadlines, it would be simpler if we set up regular bi-monthly calls, in whatever way we do it we need to get better organised
Virtual facilitation (Core Team update)
In order to have these documents and timelines achieved, the Core Team has provisions of a facilitator who would need someone from the Working Group to volunteer and work with the facilitator for twice a month, but the working group can meet more often.
- The Community Health Working Group has worked with the Virtual Facilitator, who was so professional, and enabled them achieve alot for different discussions, including;
- Break out rooms and at the end a google doc from every break out which was merged, e.g 16 google docs are synthesised in 2-4 days.
- Taking notes for two hour sessions, which would give the Working Group a starting point for the 5 topics previously mentioned in our scoping approach.
Jorge Vargas volunteered to liaise with the Virtual Facilitator and would liaise with any other Working Group Member, also seeking the opinion and availability of Camelia. An introduction mail to be sent by the Core Team to make this connection.
Scheduling the next call
The normal working time for some members is variable, and there’s no specific preference. The previous conversation had a suggestion of one meeting in the morning, and another to cater for different time zones, which considers a work week or weekend.