Grants:PEG/Aliceba/Outreach to Afrodescendant community in US/Report

Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY Pending has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Project statusEdit

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?


Is your project completed?


Activities and lessons learnedEdit



Pre-grant activities included: Organizing 3 organizational online meetings between New York and Belgrade in order to clarify details of future cooperation and prepare methodology Organizing 2 preliminary workshops with 3 people invited in order to test methodology and technology (January 10th, January 24th) Testing equipment session with Brooklyn Public Library (January 31st) Preparing material for the future workshops In person meetings with subgroup heads to introduce ideas, including attendance at International Decade for People of African Descent events Creation of social media pages and website Organizing outreach campaign for February kickoff at the Brooklyn Public Library Wikimedia grant writing Developing evaluation methodology for events, including evaluation form that helped us monitor participants' feedback


Kickoff workshops were held on February 7th and 8th at the Brooklyn Public Library. The aim of these workshops was to provide general introduction to Wikimedia and the Wikipedia editing process for the larger Afrodescendant community with targeted segmented culturally specific outreach to each subgroup. We introduced participants to Wikipedia and Wikimedia including resources in some of the many languages spoken by our target population: French, Garifuna, Haitian Kreyòl, Igbo, Yoruba, Spanish and Twi. We also announced the new Garifuna language Wikipedia incubator, the fruit of a collaboration between AfroCROWD and Wikimedia NYC.

The workshop on February 7th was attended by 31 attendees and on February 8th 18 participants were present. Several people were present at both meetings.

The trainers were the co-founders of Afrocrowd: Aliceba, a Brooklyn-based free knowledge and free culture proponent who has been aggregating and disseminating Haitian citizen media since 2005 and Milos Rancic, a Belgrade-based veteran Wikimedian with over 10 years in the movement, Wikimedia Language Committee member and chair of Interglider.ORG (remotely via Google Hangouts, Skype or other live streaming app projected onto the screen);

This event was a part of Black WikiHistory Month - a wiki-coordinated program of article writing, image/picture creating, events and edit-a-thons focused on Black history in the United States and worldwide, working with multiple outreach partners.

On February 24th AfroCROWD presented about the Haitian Creole wikipedia to a class of the Haitian Creole Language Institute.


HaitiCROWD, editahon for the Haitian-American subgroup was organized on March 14th at the Brooklyn Public Library for 18 participants. More information about this event could be found at its official wikipedia page, both in english and Haitian Kreyol Besides Alice Backer, three presenters joined for brief presentations:

Wynnie Lamour, founder, Haitian Creole Language Institute
Carmel Balan, founder, Port Académie Research and Reference Platform for Haitian Studies - an online digital library of Haitian studies
David Goodman, Wikimedia NYC - on translating between Wikipedias.

We discussed growing the Haitian Wikipedia, which is now available free of charge to many Haitians in Haiti through the Digicel/Wikimedia Foundation Wikipedia Zero initiative.

Articles were edited in both English and Haitian Kreyol.

AfroCROWD was on a panel about the gender and multicultural gap at Wikipedia Day NYC. Wikipedia Day NYC 2015 is a celebration and mini-conference for the project's 14th birthday,* held on Sunday March 22, 2015, hosted at Barnard College starting at 10:00 am, and also supported by Wikimedia New York City and fellow Free Culture Alliance NYC partners.

On March 25th AfroCROWD attended a workshop organized by the Haitian Creole Language Institute to discuss Quechua, Garifuna and Haitian Creole mother tongues where we announced about the forthcoming Afrolatin@CROWD editathon and the potential of the Garifuna Wikipedia Incubator.


AfroLatin@CROWD, editathon in Spanish, Garifuna and English was held on April 12th in Brooklyn Public Library. Number of participants 14. Besides a brief intro to Wikimedia and Wikipedia the topic was the gaps that exist about Afrolatino/as the largest online reference site in the world and ways to use this resource to make Afrolatino/a children and adults more digitally skilled and more knowledgeable about their culture, history and languages. Featured speakers were:

Amilcar Priestley of Proyecto Afrolatin@
Sandra Abd´Allah-Alvarez Ramírez from the Blog Negra Cubana Tenía Que Ser
Alice Backer of AfroCROWD

The training at this workshop was provided in Spanish via Google Hangouts by Cuban blogger and Wikipedia Editor Sandra Abd´Allah-Alvarez Ramírez. In addition to those present in the room, some participants from Cuba attended via Google hangouts. The training’s archived livestream can be viewed here, starting at minute 20: Several members of the Garifuna community attended and made the first edit to the Garifuna incubator, creating an entry for the word Belize. Official event page in English and in Spanish

On April 14th Presentation to the class of Professor Michelle Materre about Wikipedia and film resources in Wikipedia at New School Film Distribution and New Media Class. Added an edit to Raoul Peck as a demonstration of how to cite.


AfricaCROWD was organized in cooperation with Afri Diaspora, Yoruba Cultural Institute in May in Brooklyn Public Library. Number of participants 14. Official page AfroCROWD offered a presentation at the NYC Afrofuturism Conference. a three-day student-led conference at the New School for Social Research, with participation of Wikimedia NYC. Afrocrowd also responded to the Black Lunchtable’s request to assist with training and one-on-one assistance in their first editathon at the Studio Museum in Harlem. On May 30th, AfroCROWD was part of Afrobeat Radio’s panel at the Left Forum 2015, offering an introductory talk about Wikipedia and is relevance to afrodescendants.


Training the trainers event on June 20th took place at the Brooklyn Public Library. Number of participants: 9 Official page of the event The project activities continued even after official project closure in June, so on July 14th AfroCROWD organized editathon at MOMA with the Black Lunch Table. (This event will be accounted for in the report for your second cycle ending in December.)

Promotional activitiesEdit

Promotional activities included:

  • Timely announcements for public events using eventbrite and benchmark email campaign (about 18 mailings),

Developing web site

In the NewsEdit

Lessons learnedEdit

What worked well?
  • Providing additional context to show the benefits of involvement in the free knowledge movement was important given that this project was targeting communities that have lesser participation in the Wikipedia movement
  • Extensive social media campaign to invite and promote events was a very useful tool which eventually led to evidence of virality when several groups in the target audience asked us to organize editathons for their constituencies in May.
  • Cooperation with the Brooklyn Public Library that has generously provided venue and makes laptops available to the public.
  • Developing evaluation methodology beforehand was quite helpful in improving details for future events.
  • Subgroup targeting
What didn't work?

Skype or Google Hangouts presentation by remote team members from Belgrade were not so engaging so it was much better use of time to substitute them for presentations made by the local team.

Had we anticipated the virality brought on by the rhythm of editathons (monthly) and by our use of social media, we would have planned less of our own events and been less fatigued by the onslaught of community demand of our services in May.

What would you do differently if you planned a similar project?

Had we anticipated the virality brought on by the rhythm of editathons (monthly) and by our use of social media, we would have planned less of our own events and been less fatigued by the onslaught of community demand of our services in May.

Learning patternsEdit

| Editathon Evaluation Form

Outcomes and impactEdit


Provide the original project goal here.

The Project aims at

  1. Improving participation in Wikimedia projects and free culture, knowledge and software movements by
  2. Improving editor diversity by recruiting new editors from the Afrodescendant community (people of African descent in New York with appropriate segmented outreach to Afrodescendant self-identified subgroups such as African, African-American, Afro-Latino, Biracial, Black, Black-American, Caribbean, Garifuna, Haitian or West Indian.
  3. Educating new editors through a series of workshops, and organizing edit-a-thons related to the topics of interest to the Afrodescendant community.
Did you achieve your project goal? How do you know your goal was achieved? Please answer in 1 - 2 short paragraphs.

The project has definitely succeeded in improving editor diversity from the Afrodescendant community. The list of partner organizations on this project could be found here, so not only were individual editors reached, but also groups/organizations of Afrodescendant communities were supportive of this initiative.

Organized editathons had a positive impact and an inclusive atmosphere. Some of the responses collected through evaluation form say:

I believe using Wikipedia will definitely enhance the visibility of our endangered Garifuna Language. The ability to write in Garifuna is a sure way to keep it alive. I suggest that AfroCrowd team up with Garifuna speakers, musicians, writers and storytellers so that more Garifuna articles could be documented in Wikipedia. I am available to facilitate this endeavor.
This was awesome! Good stuff. More people should do this! Its important to have a say in the dialogue of history. Thanks for putting this together.

Progress towards targets and goalsEdit

Project metrics

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
Improving participation by increasing editor diversity by recruiting new editors from Afrodescendant community ( people of African descent in New York with appropriate segmented outreach to Afrodescendant self-identified subgroups such as Haitians, Caribbeans, West Indians, Africans, Black-Americans, Blacks, Biracials, African-Americans, Counter-Racists and Afro-Latinos Improved editor diversity by recruiting 40 new editors from Afrodescendant community ( people of African descent in New York with appropriate segmented outreach to Afrodescendant self-identified subgroups such as Haitians, Caribbeans, West Indians, Africans, Black-Americans, Blacks, Biracials, African-Americans, Counter-Racists and Afro-Latinos) AfroCROWD invested a lot of efforts in a campaign to promote Wikipedia and free knowledge movement in general, which resulted in high interest in AfroCROWD editathon events, so 112 people attended 6 AfroCROWD events, out of which 40 become newly registered Wikipedia users.
Educating new editors through a series of workshops, and organizing an edit-a-thon related to topics of interest to the Afrodescendant community. Educated 63 new editors through a series of 6 editathons organized by AfroCROWD and 7 additional events organized in cooperation with outreach partners. Besides 6 events organized by AfroCROWD, we also participated in 7 more events in cooperation with outreach patners. AfroCROWD was recognized as the organization working on the issue of increasing the number of people of African Descent who actively partake in the Wikimedia and free knowledge, culture and software movements.

Global MetricsEdit


We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across our grantees. In addition to the measures of success for your specific program (in above section), please use the table below to let us know how your project contributed to the Global Metrics. We know that not all projects will have results for each type of metric, so feel free to put "0" where necessary.

  1. Next to each required metric, list the actual outcome achieved through this project.
  2. Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome. For example, if you were funded for an edit-a-thon which resulted in 0 new images, your explanation might be "This project focused solely on participation and articles written/improved, the goal was not to collect images."

For more information and a sample, see Global Metrics.

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. # of active editors involved 20 Manually tallied
2. # of new editors 63 Editors who created an account during our editathons.
3. # of individuals involved 1,500+ This is an estimate taking into account people who have RSVP'd to our events, attended events that we organized or events where we made announcements and followed us on social media. This number is likely much higher given the number of people who have read about Afrocrowd in the dozen or so press articles about us.
4a. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages 15 Manually counted 15 images uploaded to Wikipedia articles
4b. # of new images/media uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (Optional) about 80 Manually estimated. 102 images tagged afrocrowd on Wikimedia commons from our start date to 10/30/2015
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects 73 See manually tallied list here This list was not generated via wikimetrics and is likely incomplete.
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects Unknown We cannot provide this number manually do not have access to wikimetrics for it.
Learning question
Did your work increase the motivation of contributors, and how do you know?


What impact did this project have on WMF's mission and the strategic priorities?

Option A: How did you increase participation in one or more Wikimedia projects?

This initiative was created because certain indicators signal non-proportionate participation of people of African descent (including but not limited to self-identified African, African-American, Afro-Latino, Biracial, Black, Black-American, Caribbean, Garifuna, Haitian or West Indian subgroups) in the Wikimedia movement in the US. This project contributed to a positive perception of Wikipedia among users in these communities, and increased skills for contribution to Wikimedia projects.

Option B: How did you improve quality on one or more Wikimedia projects?

The project had impact on English Wikipedia, but also on Haitian, Garifuna, Spanish, Igbo and Yoruba. It has helped improve articles on Afro descendant community in English, but also contributed with articles on other mentioned Wikipedias.

Option C: How did you increase the reach (readership) of one or more Wikimedia projects?

AfroCROWD editathons took into account that many Afrodescendant groups in the United States might find that access to Wikipedia’s multilingual crowdsourcing platform can help them transfer free knowledge to populations of African descent outside of the United States that they are connected to through origin or direct familial bonds. The workshops took into account Multilingual Afrodescendants may also want to use such platforms to develop and maintain online bodies of relevant knowledge in native languages such as Garifuna, Haitian Kreyòl, Igbo, Twi or Yoruba, thereby contributing to the survival of -and increasing their proficiency in-- those languages while also feeling more culturally grounded.

Reporting and documentation of expendituresEdit

This section describes the grant's use of funds


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grants at wikimedia dot org, according to the guidelines here? Answer "Yes" or "No".


Please list all project expenses in a table here, with descriptions and dates. Review the instructions here.
Number Category Item description Unit Number of units Actual cost per unit Actual total Budgeted total Currency Notes
1 Food Refreshments for editathons Editathon 5 variable 387.08 USD We received food donations estimated at bout $125 in addition to what we spent ourselves.
2 Administrative costs printing and copying, conference fee registration for Left Forum where we presented on the Afrobeat Radio panel, bank transfer fee, email marketing 224.33 USD
Total project budget (from your approved grant submission)
Total amount requested from WMF (from your approved grant submission, this total will be the same as the total project budget if PEG is your only funding source)

Total amount spent on this project
About $700 (including donations)
Total amount of Project and Event grant funds spent on this project
Are there additional sources that funded any part of this project? List them here.
$1000 Technical Support -
$5000 Estimated Venue Costs - Brooklyn Public Library

Remaining fundsEdit

Remaining funds from this grant have been returned to WMF in the amount of US$285.93.
Remaining funds have been used or will be used for other approved mission-aligned activities. This use has been requested in writing and approved by WMF.
Are there any grant funds remaining?
Answer YES or NO.
Please list the total amount (specify currency) remaining here. (This is the amount you did not use, or the amount you still have after completing your grant.)
If funds are remaining they must be returned to WMF, reallocated to mission-aligned activities, or applied to another approved grant.
Please state here if you intend to return unused funds to WMF, submit a request for reallocation, or submit a new grant request, and then follow the instructions on your approved grant submission.
We are going to apply for a reallocation, likely towards babysitting costs towards the current cycle ending in December.