Wiki Movement Brazil User Group/Diversity Plan
This document outlines the definition of social diversity for the Wiki Movimento Brasil User Group (WMB UG), as well as its mission, its difficulties and its objectives regarding its redefinition as a more heterogeneous and plural group.
Research and definition
Brazil is a diverse country in economic, social, racial and ethnic terms. Therefore, for the Wiki Movimento Brasil User Group, the definition of inclusion is quite broad and tries to embark on all the possibilities that this term requires. Such is the case with the inclusion of people from different economic levels, social classes, colors and ethnicities, as well as people with motor or intellectual disabilities, different ages, educational levels, gender identity or sexual orientation.
For WMB, the definition of inclusion is also offering the incorporation of people, from all the realities pointed out above, the equal opportunity to join the user group as members, allowing a healthy development within the UG, in positions of importance and participation or coordination of events and projects.
Considering the importance of social inclusion in Brazil, which is diverse and heterogeneous, the Wiki Movimento Brasil User Group strives for view on this issue is that of full inclusion of all groups considered social minorities excluded from Brazilian society.
Consequently, the group's mission is not only to have an inviting environment for people in situations of social exclusion by society, but also to create opportunities for these minorities to be actively involved in the organization, maintenance and coordination of Wiki Movimento Brasil. Also, identify, prevent and eliminate the barriers that prevent certain groups of people from entering the WMB.
In order for these actions to take place properly, the WMB User Group has produced a strategic plan with short and long term objectives. In it were determined activities that will be carried out in order to concretely and significantly improve diversity within the organization. A description of these activities can be found below, in the “objectives” part.
To ensure that Wiki Movimento Brasil does a good job on the mission of improving diversity within the group, an advisory committee will be produced. This council will consist of external partners and stakeholders from partnerships with local organizations that are already working with inclusion and diversity.
Partners called into this external council will be active members of open knowledge organizations such as Whose Knowledge?, Open Knowledge and Creative Commons Brasil, the Programaria group and the nonprofit organization LARAMARA.
The purpose of the constitution of this external council is to ensure that the group remains and is actionable, equitable and sustainable. And also offer the opportunity to encourage and increase the achievement of group partnerships.
This committee would function as an advisory committee, as a way for the group to receive feedback for its activities. The objective is to contact those groups every six months and ask for ideas and suggestions to enhance WMB’s attitudes towards diversity. Additionally, that would be good to encourage even more collaborations.
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of WMB
1. Among the strengths of the User Group is the presence of members who are very open to social inclusion and even carry out campaigns, events and even study and actively contribute to the real improvement of social disparity already outside the group environment themselves. Thanks to this, there are no internal barriers between members against the development of activities that seek to change and socially improve the composition of the WMB itself.
There’s also the fact that the group is new, but also already has a fairly wide road of previous experiences. For years, even before the group was recognized, it has been organizing events, making partnerships and constructing projects. This creates a baggage and an advantage over other newly created groups.
2. There are some weaknesses in the current state of WMB. As members are already working for diversity, it is sometimes difficult to see and identify new problems or that there is still a long way to go. Or, simply put, when there is room for improvement. The fact that the group is already pro-diversity is good, but it can also be a stagnation factor.
In addition, the WMB has a deficiency regarding the documentation of its activities. The group has learned and improved at this point, but it still needs to grow in terms of documenting and evaluation of its diversity activities.
3. WMB has many opportunities. Recent events in Brazil have aroused the interest of cultural and research institutions in increasing their participation in free knowledge initiatives and dissemination of this kind of knowledge. This demand provides opportunities for partnerships with groups such as the WMB.
Brazil is also a country that still has a lot of room for development in the area of technology and education, especially in regions outside the Rio-São Paulo axis. This provides the opportunity for the group to act with its members, originally from these regions, to improve access to general and local knowledge, acting directly on regional diversity.
4. The UG also faces some threats. Given the way cultural and research institutions are structured and how the concept of free knowledge is not yet so widespread in the Brazilian society, possible WMB partnerships have the potential to be affected by political fluctuations.
Another latent problem in Brazil is the lack of funds and financing for projects, especially those linked to the promotion of cultural institutions.
Objectives and action plan
Short Term Goals
1. Include more people from disadvantaged regions or socioeconomic backgrounds in the WMB User Group by contacting wiki users from those regions. This contact should be made by group members already in these locations. This goal should be accomplished in the next six months to one year.
2. Hold events such as marathons and edit-a-thons, focusing on content about minorities. These events should happen at least once a semester. Preferably, they should occur through partnerships with cultural or educational institutions, which are also intended to work towards improving knowledge on minority issues.
3. Establish partnerships with minority-focused groups that consist of minorities. For example, the NGO LARAMARA, which conducts actions with people with visual impairments. In addition, the ideal is to try to establish partnerships with groups that are not only located in São Paulo, or in the Southeast states, but also in less favored regions of Brazil. This goal should also be accomplished in the next six months to a year.
4. Maintain a space for WMB members to access, in which they can report issues sensitive to their minority status. For example, a trustable place that women in the group can turn to in cases of harassment or a place where people of other ethnicities can invoke if they experience racism.
The complaints channel will be an official email, which will be maintained by the members of the WMB Diversity Committee. Depending on the severity of the case, the Conduct Committee might conduct an analysis and judge the matter as well.
Complaints may also form a documentation center, which will collect examples of sensitive issues, for different minorities, as a basis for future group policies and actions.
Long Term Goals
1. Increase the number of women in the group up to 50% of the total WMB members.
2. Increase the number of people who identify as brown or black.
3. Increase the number of people living outside the main capitals and major cities of the country.
4. Increase representation of people from Brazilian indigenous groups in the WMB.
5. Increase representation of people with intellectual or motor disabilities involved in group activities.
6. Having more members openly talking about their sexual orientation - which requires a more comfortable environment for talking about it and having more events, such as edit-a-thons about the subject.
7. Have a person who does not identify as a cis-gender.
The short-term actions envisaged by the WMB User Group will be intended to improve the group's activities in areas such as Partnership Building, Education and Awareness, Communications, Community Outreach and Roles and Responsibilities. For practical examples, in the Partnership Building area, the group will contact more diversity organizations, and in the Education and Awareness area, WMB will promove edit-at-thons. For these actions to work, members of the WMB diversity team must split to work and evaluate each of the areas outlined above as they are performed by members of the User Group.
Assessment and follow up
Ways to measure and evaluate
The WMB needs to make a habit of producing and performing more effectively the critical evaluation of its activities, especially those concerning minority groups. One way is to make it a habit to produce participation and feedback forms, following events that are handled by the group.
There is also a need for more meetings (both the diversity team and the entire WMB group) specifically scheduled to talk about that subject. These meetings should be held periodically.
Finally, the group needs to interact more with the Lusophone community itself in wiki projects, to receive criticism and suggestions on the subject. Communication should be broader, more open, and easier for users.
The reassessment of the group's diversity activities can be done by reading and evaluating the forms performed and following a critical evaluation of the members.
It is also possible to host a community consultation to invite different partners and individuals to provide feedback on how the Brazil User Group can eliminate barriers to engagement into the work.