Wikimedia Conference 2018/Program/38
38. Exploring privilege through autobiographies
Dana McCurdy (Wikimedia Foundation)
- Length (min)
- Audience / Target group
Anyone who creates programs, events, or policies
- Session Format
This session will engage participants in a conversation about the factors that make up our identity. Each aspect of our identity brings with it a level of privilege or marginalization and this, in turn, shapes our point of view on the world. Participants will explore their own identity and perspective by writing a mini-autobiography. The group will also discuss how this process can help to design better programs, events, and policies in support of diversity and equity. Participants will receive a worksheet and guide on how use this process back at their own organizations.
- Defining identity, self-reflection and discussion (20 min)
- Framework for and example autobiographies (15 min)
- Participants begin their own autobiography (15 min)
- Sharing and Group Discussion (10 min)
- Desired Outcome
Participants will understand why it is important to talk about identity and privilege within the Wikimedia movement. Participants will learn how to write mini-autobiographies about privilege and how to use them to improve our efforts toward diversity and knowledge equity.
- Next Steps and Milestones
I will compile ideas and feedback from the session on why this work is important to the Wikimedia Movement and share via Blog post. I will also post the slides, a worksheet, and a tutorial on how to write autobiographies on Meta so that teams can engage in this work after the conference
Dana started with brainstorming questions:
- What is the impact of race/ethnicity on your life, from 0 to 100%?
- What is the impact of gender on your life, from 0-100%?
- What is the impact of your native language on your life, from 0-100%?
What is Privilege?
- It is responding with anything less that 100%
- Privilege is an "invisible package of unearned assets" - Peggy McIntosh
- Everybody has a combination of unearned advantage and unearned disadvantage
Identity Self-Reflection Handout (Workshop session)
- Describe where you see yourself on these axes.
- In which ways do you identify with the top half of the diagram?
- In which ways do you identify with the lower half of the diagram?
Question: What are racial autobiographies? It's a tool for developing and deepening personal understanding of and insights about race. Equity is not just an outcome; it is also about a liberating process of working together.
Stories from our movement: Video (Anasuya Sengupta and Siko Bouterse (Whose Knowledge?))
Next steps of the workshop: Confidential pairing discussion; Writing Your Autobiography
- What do you recall about your first encounter with or understanding about race, ethnicity, skin color, gender, nationality, sexuality, language, wealth, or ability?
- What was your most recent personal experience in dealing with race, ethnicity, skin color, gender, nationality, sexuality, language, wealth, or ability?
- What came up for you as you started to write your own story?
- Some people think that it is difficult to write about themselves
- Some people wrote about their childhood experiences.
- Having the conference in Berlin and all people speak in English mean Privilege
- It is about inequality
- What does it mean for someone who is from ‘developing country’?
- Gender gap —> sometimes organisers are privileged people —> How do you create empathy?
- Easy to Fail into Tokenism
It is important to understand our biases (How we write/How we edit/Curating knowledge) —>It can feel alienated to be an editor —> no space for reflection
How do you envision using this tool in your own work?
Why is this important for us to do as Wikimedians?