Thank you to those who attended our Equity Fund
Office Hours. We had a
small turnout with about three people attending the second session (evening
UTC) earlier today to speak with the Equity Fund Committee and learn more
about the fund. It was a constructive conversation and we learned of some
particular challenges in India that are barriers for participation in our
projects. We are adding the questions that were asked and the answers in
the Knowledge Equity Fund FAQ
Thank you to those who attended.
My 2 cents on some of the points in this thread:
Definitely complete the form, Sam! Those projects seem very
interesting and definitely worthy of exploration for this. Thank you for
We want to be clear: This fund is insufficient to solve the
problems with Knowledge Inequity as it relates to race. We are aiming to
make progress and work with others who also advance this work.
Knowledge Equity is a central part of the 2030 Strategic Direction
and our donors were included in the conversations that got us there. They
very much want equity to guide our work. Last year, Katherine and Janeen
published a very clear stand on racial justice
that led to this fund. While we can’t mention every WMF program in the
space of a banner, we do include more information about WMF programs in the donor
FAQ <https://donate.wikimedia.org/wiki/FAQ#What_is_Wikipedia?> which
is linked on every banner with more links to our plans, annual reports,
announcements and more detail regarding our programs. In terms of the
Knowledge Equity Fund, we announced it in the press release
that we posted for Wikipedia’s 20th birthday in January in seven
languages. It is also in our 2019-2020 fiscal year Audit Report
information on the Knowledge Equity Fund
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Equity_Fund> is now on
meta. We look forward to sharing more information about the Fund’s
progress with the community and donors alike later this summer.
To clarify, this is not a $4.5 million grant to Tides Advocacy for
their programs around racial inequity. Instead, the Equity Fund
sets the direction of the fund, identifies grantees and submits them to
Tides for review and administration. The Equity Fund Committee is
identifying grantees that fit in the five focus areas
to address racial inequity and free knowledge, and will benefit the
Thanks again for the questions and suggestions. We welcome any follow-up
or additional questions on the Talk page
On Sun, Jun 13, 2021 at 9:17 AM Andreas Kolbe <jayen466(a)gmail.com>
Hi Lisa and all,
Thanks for the info.
Laudable though the goals of the Knowledge Equity Fund surely are, you
seem to be saying that you gave $4.5 million – which readers presumably
donated because they thought you were struggling to have enough money to
keep Wikipedia up and running – to Tides Advocacy for the kind of
"dismantling inequities" work that Tides Advocacy does anyway.
If donors had wanted to support Tides Advocacy's racial equity work,
surely they could have donated to that organisation in the first place?
Have you announced – or will you announce – this redirection of funds
to the public, complete with an explanation of how this decision came about
(i.e. as a result of last year's underspend, as described in your mail last
December)? At the time of writing, a Google search is unable to locate a
related Wikimedia blog post or press release.
Without such a public communication, donors will not even be aware that
money they gave in response to banners asking for donations "to protect
Wikipedia's independence" etc. is now going to be used for a different
purpose altogether, one that is expressly outside of the scope of the
conventional Wikimedia community grants that they might reasonably have
expected their money to be used for.
Moreover, at some point, Wikipedia readers will no doubt be asked to
donate another $4.5 million to meet expenses these funds could have covered
(such as the most recent $5 million WMF donation to the endowment).
Do you agree donors should be told?
On Fri, Jun 11, 2021 at 6:42 PM Nadee Gunasena <ngunasena(a)wikimedia.org>
> Hi all,
> We realized we had shared the wrong date for the Equity Fund Office
> Hours. Lisa's email initially said these would be Monday, June 13 - that
> should be Monday, June 14. Sorry for any confusion - Updated times below.
> You can also find these details and more information on Meta:
> Monday, June 14 at 0100-0200 UTC meet.google.com/myf-zcaw-ubg
> Monday, June 14 at 1500-1600 UTC meet.google.com/dzu-edej-wva
> On Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 10:15 AM Lisa Gruwell <lgruwell(a)wikimedia.org>
>> Hi everyone,
>> I’m excited to share more information about the Wikimedia
>> Foundation’s Knowledge Equity Fund.
>> The Equity Fund is a pilot initiative that came out of the commitment
>> the Foundation’s leadership team made in June 2020  in the wake of
>> global protests against racial injustice. Our goal was to create a
>> grant-making fund with an explicit focus on addressing barriers to free
>> knowledge experienced by Black, indigenous and communities of color around
>> the world.
>> This is a $4.5 million USD fund to address racial inequities that
>> impact the work of free knowledge. It was created to provide focused grants
>> to organizations that are advancing knowledge equity, one of two key
>> pillars of our 2030 strategic direction of becoming the essential
>> infrastructure of free knowledge. Specifically, the fund is meant to
>> support organizations working to address the racial injustices and barriers
>> that prevent participation in free knowledge.
>> We allocated funds for the Equity Fund at the end of the Foundation’s
>> fiscal year last June.  It took more time than we expected to share our
>> plans for this pilot program, as we’ve been navigating the
>> operational and logistical issues of creating a new type of fund.
>> Over the past several months since the Equity Fund was first announced,
>> Foundation staff and volunteers have been meeting to discuss the goals and
>> the details of the Equity Fund, and we finally have more to share.
>> The Equity Fund will be used to support local and international
>> organizations that don’t currently qualify for grants funding from the
>> Foundation, such as external organizations that can help advance our
>> mission and are not working directly on wikiprojects. We recognize that the
>> work of knowledge equity is work that we as a movement cannot do alone. Our
>> projects can only do so much when, for example, academic and mass media
>> representation of marginalized communities remains insufficient, which in
>> turn limits citations and primary sources for us to build from. Through
>> Equity Fund investments, we wish to create an ecosystem of partners,
>> collaborators, and grantees working on knowledge equity that will benefit
>> the movement. This could include journalism projects to increase content
>> about underrepresented regions of the world, or scholarship and research
>> initiatives that are focused on expanding academic understanding of
>> structural barriers to knowledge and potential solutions.
>> The Equity Fund is separate from the grants that are available for
>> community groups and the ongoing Grants Relaunch . It is a new pool of
>> funds that we can use to directly impact knowledge equity, and specifically
>> barriers due to race that prevent access and participation in free
>> We are currently working to identify the first grant recipients for
>> the Equity Fund. The Meta page for the Equity Fund  includes more
>> information (the members of the Equity Fund Committee, the five specific
>> focus areas we will be investing in) and next steps. We are also currently
>> looking for recommendations on organizations for grants - you can visit
>> Meta or fill out this survey  if you have organizations that are already
>> doing this work and would be a good fit.
>> Lastly, we do want to emphasize that this is a pilot. There are a lot
>> of open questions that have been raised by community members that we are
>> still figuring out, on topics such as ensuring investment in global
>> organizations and inclusive definitions of racial equity. We welcome
>> additional questions as the project evolves from this early stage. We’re
>> answering questions on Meta, so please join us there. We will also be
>> hosting Office Hours in the coming week:
>> Monday, June 13 at 0100-0200 UTC meet.google.com/myf-zcaw-ubg
>> Monday, June 13 at 1500-1600 UTC meet.google.com/dzu-edej-wva
>> This is an active step towards addressing the barriers that
>> perpetuate knowledge gaps on our projects and prevent participation in free
>> knowledge. We’re excited to try this new pilot and share our progress.
>> Thank you,
>> Lisa Gruwell, Janeen Uzzell, Tony Sebro and the Equity Fund Committee
>>  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Equity_Fund
>>  https://forms.gle/gzqRH7yMFEGgZb4e6
>> Lisa Seitz Gruwell
>> Chief Advancement Officer
>> Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org,
>> guidelines at:
>> To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-leave(a)lists.wikimedia.org
> *Nadee Gunasena*
> Executive Communications Manager
> Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
> Wikimedia-l mailing list -- wikimedia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org,
> guidelines at:
> To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-leave(a)lists.wikimedia.org
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guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
To unsubscribe send an email to wikimedia-l-leave(a)lists.wikimedia.org
Lisa Seitz Gruwell
Chief Advancement Officer
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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