Grants talk:Project/BlackLunchTable/BLT 2018

Active discussions

Important: Change your proposal status from "draft" to "proposed" to submit by deadlineEdit

User:Heathart and User:Fishantena,

Please note that you must change your proposal status from "draft" to "proposed" to submit by your proposal for review in the current round. You have until end of day today to make the deadline.

Warm regards,

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 21:30, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

2017 initiative reviewEdit

Last year's initiative has gotten fairly burdensome for the Wikidata community draining a substantial amount of volunteer resources. Possibly, this is due to a misunderstanding of the way Wikidata works or some overenthusiastic use in cases where articles haven't been written yet, weren't or haven't yet been accepted by Wikipedia(s). @ValterVB and MisterSynergy: were some of the Wikidata administrators who received lectures about how Wikidata was supposed to work for the BLT project (?).

While the content generation initiative has probably its merits, I think steps should be taken to ensure that the WMF grant supports the initiative only as long as it uses Wikidata once articles were created.

Similar initiatives have been much more positive for its impact on Wikidata (e.g. CEE editathons). --Jura1 (talk) 09:16, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Contrary to the use of Wikidata as it was done in the past. They have been created a lot of item with only name/surname and a generic "artist" or "painter" no reference no detail to understand who is the person of the item. In Community notification I don't see a notification to Wikidata project (thanks @Jura1: for the ping). Just now there is a discussion about the notability of this kind of item on Wikidata. If the problem isn't resolved the risk is that all item will be created on wikidata that don't respect D:Wikidata:Notability will be deleted. --ValterVB (talk) 09:39, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • 2017 was the first time the Black Lunch Table project fully engaged in incorporating Wikidata into their initiative. To imply there is a comparison to prior year activity on Wikidata is misleading and is not factual. To further clarify, the BLT project has been doing outreach on En Wikipedia since 2015, but was not on Wikidata fully until 2017.
  • BLT is in no way burdensome to the Wikidata community. Please provide facts to support this claim.
  • Which volunteer resources have been over-taxed? Please provide facts to support this claim.
  • There is no misunderstanding of how Wikidata works. The concern here is about a very narrow definition and perspective of how Wikidata SHOULD work. Exemplified by this statement: "Contrary to the use of Wikidata as it was done in the past."
  • Overenthusiastic? BLT is doing outreach work. How should they be? Unenthusiastic?
  • Lectures? As the result of questions and a clear amount of confusion by Wikidata editors, information was provided as to the background and context of how BLT was integrating Wikidata in their initiative. How is that a lecture? This was a discussion and nothing more.
  • The WMF Grant will provide resources for BLT to do content generation. What further steps should be taken? Please clarify.
  • Concerns re: Wikidata items that do not have enough content to establish notability have been discussed and addressed by BLT and others in the link provided above. The Wikidata community came to an agreed upon consensus that BLT could have 6 months to address these items. By the way: A kind Wikidatan already went through many of these items as a result of this discussion and has added content to a large number of items. So this concern was addressed and has a planned resolution. The WMF Grant will support this work. Why is this being re-visited as if this agreement was never made?
  • EVERYTHING BLT does is in support of notability. They have a clear understanding, indeed a front-row seat to the issues of notability. One could argue the entire outreach of the project is about establishing and addressing notability.
  • BLT is integrating Wikidata to automate task lists. It is using Wikidata as a scaffolding for establishing notability of Visual artists of the African diaspora. It is a new and and highly functional way to automate and integrate Wikidata seamlessly into Wikipedia (and vice versa). It also also a translatable solution for other outreach efforts. This model of integrating Wikidata into Wikipedia outreach initiatives is now being used to support other Wiki projects. There is no downside to this. There is only positive outcomes in automation and integration across the sister projects.
  • In the discussion on Wikidata, there seems to be a clearly stated hostility to outreach, which reflects bias. The comments above are an extension of and repetition of this bias.
  • These Wikidata editors have expressed concern that they can't personally establish notability of items in the BLT project. BLT is coming from and sourcing from within the Visual artists of the African diaspora community. It might NOT be possible for those outside the community to establish INITIAL notability in a traditional way. Traditional notability has to start from a beginning point like this. It seems that on some level the editors are upset because they can’t insert themselves into this initial community-centered outreach. Quite frankly, it is not their place. It’s not mine either. This is about empowering BLT to fix this problem themselves. Which is appropriate. It is inappropriate to expect otherwise.
  • Heavily edited from first draft — Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 17:47, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Sorry for my english, but with "Contrary to the use of Wikidata as it was done in the past" I mean that "I am contrary to use wikidata in the same manner that is already used for the others item of BLT". You say "BLT is in no way burdensome to the Wikidata community" but if you see the discussion in Page of deletion, or in property proposal or in some user pages, this use of Wikidata create a lot of problem and long discussion, not clear decision about this. You say "The WMF Grant will provide resources for BLT to do content generation" but where in Wikipedia or in Wikidata? You say "There is no misunderstanding of how Wikidata works" not really, item with only a label + description + generic artistic activity, without backlink, sitelink, reference or identifier what fall in D:Wikidata:Notability? This is the only guideline really important for Wikidata. Hundreds of items like these was created without possibility to check who is the subject of the item. Please can you link where you add the link to the Wikidata community notification? I can't find it. --ValterVB (talk) 10:37, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Okay, so you personally disagree with how BLT is using Wikidata? The catalog tag was suggested as an interim solution to a very clear need, a new property value is being discussed, but there is still no solution. BLT and other GLAM outreach initiatives are using the catalog tag in good faith until a consensus is worked out. Is this is specifically what you are referring to?
  • The objection is to the fact that this question has generated significant discussion, which is a burdensome thing on Wikidata? I fail to see how this is factually true. The discussion has created problems for who exactly? I thought discussion was a good, a productive thing.
  • The WMF grant will provide resources for BLT to do content generation on both Wikidata as well as Wikipedia. This integrated approach is very valuable and unique. BLT has been innovating in being one of the first initiatives to incorporate Wikidata into their project, using Wikidata as a skeletal framework to establish notability and as a building block to Wikipedia entries. How is any of this negative?
  • As stated above and as discussed on the Wikidata thread, this issue has been raised and a solution has been provided.
  • I don't know what link you are talking about? Please clarify.
  • -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 08:55, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
As the other pinged Wikidata sysop I’d like to add a comment as well:
  • Many of the items created by the BLT project in Wikidata last year were initially in fact not much more than a name, and from the community perspective there was apparently no substantial improvement effort by BLT project members visible. It appeared that the BLT project saw Wikidata as a place to dump raw data and leave it there possibly for further processing at some point in the future.
  • However, after lengthy discussions that were sometimes unnecessarily aggressive on both sides (participating Wikidata community members and BLT project members), I have meanwhile the very clear impression that the BLT project understood the concerns that were raised by Wikidata community members. I don’t see any items at this point that have questionable (Wikidata) notability; I furthermore trust them to set up the next batches, it there are any to come, directly with identifyable information and references in each and every item in order to avoid this kind of trouble in future.
  • Another minor, non-blocking concern on my side: the exclusive approach this project takes is rather uncommon, and I explicitly like inclusive approaches much more; since BLT is not the only project with that approach, the Wikidata project is meanwhile discussing a new property that makes working with exclusive data sets easier.
However, in conclusion I do not have anything to object against inclusion of Wikidata in this project proposal. —MisterSynergy (talk) 16:07, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Just piping in here. As part of our work in good faith and growing the project, after much discussion, a proposal MisterSynergy mentions has been introduced to resolve our Wikidata issues and help other projects like ours meet our goals and make administration more efficient. This proposal can be found here. Thanks for your consideration!--Heathart (talk) 05:00, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Update: the property proposed has been created as d:Property:P5008 - and immediately nominated for deletion here. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:19, 4 April 2018 (UTC)


It's not entirely clear to me what the outputs will be: I see "event" in budget and "editathons" elsewhere, a mention of "editors" without qualifications and ~150 articles. But I notice that the administrative overhead is exceptionally large: not only wages and travels, but even paperwork costs to set up a new charity, which amounts to an unrestricted grant. This sounds very wrong. Why not use a fiscal sponsor? --Nemo 14:11, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, round 1 2018Edit

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 1 2018 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through March 12, 2018.

The committee's formal review for round 1 2018 will occur March 13-March 26, 2018. New grants will be announced April 27, 2018. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 01:51, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Proposal reviewEdit

The proposal still mentions "Notability is established on Wikidata, which serves as a scaffolding for improving and creating new Wikipedia pages.". This is the kind of approach that lead volunteers at Wikidata to figure if items created are sufficiently notable or not. Over last year, this has meant endless debates with BLT proponents. Some who didn't seem sufficiently interested in Wikidata to figure out how its sourcing works and how items are created/labels and statements added. More active participants at Wikidata attempted to formulate an alternative approach, but this was primarily opposed by BLT proponents. Maybe a solution outside Wikidata such as draft namespace at Wikipedia would be the better way to proceed. From a Wikidata perspective, I think this project is still more of a burden than an advantage. Unsurprisingly, the proposal mentions no Wikidata community notification. --Jura1 (talk) 13:44, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Hi there, Jura1. I added a community notification to Wikidata. Thanks for the suggestion! Fishantena and I are the only project founders and only organizers, and we both support alternatives to our Catalog usage. We welcome support for our project from all, but in no way demand a consensus of their opinions, so are not in control of any opposition you may be referring to. Thanks for your feedback.--Heathart (talk) 17:59, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Could you re-write this proposal to exclude that items are created before any articles are created at Wikipedia? You can generate lists from draft namespace at Wikipedia just as easily. In its present form it just leads your project participants to do what happened in 2017. This whatever you own position may be, especially as you don't seem to follow up on the issue. --Jura1 (talk) 09:24, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Hi Jura1, the "community comments period" closed on March 12th, in advance of your suggestions, so it is too late to make the changes you request. We have resolved the Wikidata issue you are referring to and are doing our best to address all needs and requirements of Wikidata. Thanks for your feedback. --Heathart (talk) 19:41, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

Research:Gender gapEdit

I recommend to use more up to date sources. --Nemo 21:01, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

@Nemo bis: I'd love to find some! Any recomendations?--Heathart (talk) 00:31, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
See link. --Nemo 19:37, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: Hi Nemo. Thank you for posting this link with newer articles. However, the sources sited in the Gender Gap article are the same ones we've referred to, which are from nearly ten years ago. Perhaps this is evidence that this study needs to be conducted again. If there is indeed new data we'd love links to that. thank you...--Fishantena (talk) 19:29, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
I can be more specific. Please use the 2013 source (Hill and Shaw), not the earlier ones. Thanks, Nemo 20:08, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Comments and QuestionsEdit

Hi Friends, Thank you for taking the time to continue this initiative and draft a project grant proposal. I heard about it at Wikipedia Day 2018 with Wikimedia NYC. I am excited for what you have planned. I do have two questions:

  • Do you know where specifically you are going to target expansion for the new areas?
  • Have you considered creating a social group for the attendees? I know you mention Slack for the team, which is great, but the community you interact with at events might benefit from having social connection after the event? We all know how challenging being new on Wikipedia can be and maybe a social community might help.

Looking forward to your answers. Best, Jackiekoerner (talk) 15:57, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

HiJackiekoerner, I didn't know about "social groups." Do you have a link? We are starting a "User group" but we don't quite have enough edits for our third person to qualify for one yet. We now have three, maybe four people to consistently commit to editing with us so will be applying for a group once they hit their six month editing requirement. But we'd love to learn more if there are other avenues! We do have a "Meetup page" where we invite people who edit with us to stay in contact: . Of course any advice is welcomed. Thanks!--Heathart (talk) 13:45, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
Hi Heathart, For social groups, I mean a Facebook group, or a Slack group, for the editors attending your events. This is so they may connect and find support in each other as well after the event. Develop a community so when they are not attending events, they can still feel connected with each other and continue the strong work. This may help them remain involved longer. Best, Jackiekoerner (talk) 16:29, 27 March 2018 (UTC)
Oh, we do have a free Slack! We use our Wiki Meetup page for participants though. We will explore the functions as we proceed. Thanks.:)--Heathart (talk) 16:09, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
Promoting proprietary and anti-privacy services is not appropriate usage of Wikimedia money. Free software alternatives with millions of users exist. --Nemo 20:06, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
Hi Nemo. I agree that using free software alternatives is always a good idea, but the reality is that many Wikimedia communities around the world use the popular social media sites to connect after in-person meetings. Facebook groups have been a huge support to keeping people in touch, to answer questions, share information, do outreach and more in our diverse communities and we encourage grantees to use whatever methods meet their needs best to do follow-up. Best, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:47, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for BlackLunchTable/BLT 2018Edit

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • Project has an approach to diversify the contents in a specific area, taking care of two content gaps: African and Woman. This project seems fine to reach both groups, but I can't see the impact offline after the project ends.
  • Fits with strategic direction of knowledge equity by increasing representation of artists of the African diaspora and increasing participation among racialized communities. Good potential for improved quality and quantity of content on Wikipedia, but I’m not sure what the impact will be on Wikidata (positive or negative). In terms of sustainability, I see there are plans to incorporate as a non-profit - would like to know more about this and how it fits into future planning and goals.
  • There is not a demonostration of the impact except than to produce bios of notable artists. When they say notable, how is notability is calculated?
  • This proposition is highly relevant to Wikimedia 2030 strategy
  • As every group of workshops, edit-a-thons and outreach activities targeting underrepresented groups, there is a significant potential for online impact. My only concern is sustainability: there is a significant increase in activity which will primarily rely on employees, I am not sure it will guarantee sustainability
  • This project proposal fits the strategic direction and priorities of getting a broader community involved and reducing bias. I do wonder about the broad impact as the focus is on editing and creating articles, and retention of editors seems rather low. I wonder what could be done to increase retention and thus increase impact and sustainability. Authors could look at what makes each editor want to be involved and play on those strengths. Those will be individual, but maybe have a conversation about those and foster personal connections, where Wikipedia can seem very lonely at times.
  • The success is easily to be taken from many sources of information. There is no lack of information about the activities and roles to be developed for anyone in the main organization (well done). There are the same risks of any similar project: no sufficient volunteers -or new editors-, lack of new information to be written on Wikipedia, etc.
  • I like the idea of investing in regional proxies and building out capacity. This seems like a smart approach for keeping momentum, preventing organizer burnout, and minimizing risk. I would like more details on retention of new editors - what has been their experience to date with this? Do they see this as more of a priority than increasing the number of articles? Would also be nice to see some training materials come out of this as a deliverable.
  • This is an iterative project as they have already run a couple of editions and were rather good at reaching their targets, measures of success are ambitious and clearly defined. My main concern is sustainability: the project becomes increasingly staff-based which may be an obstacle once staff support is not there anymore.
  • The outcomes are very measurable, and this organization has a strong track record of meeting or exceeding their goals. I would like to see more about sustainability of the cohort created through their initiatives. I am concerned this is not creating lasting editors and relationships.
  • The role of organizers is clear and well defined. The proxies members should be a long term wikipedians to help the development of the project and the new editathons to be hosted. The budget is strange (food for organizers are for 1440 x8 x3 days; food for events is 2500 x40 events).
  • Goal of 40 edit-a-thons seems reasonable given their previous track record and staffing plans. I’m wondering if the 250 one-on-one trainings will be offered as part of editathons because that seems like quite a lot of additional work. I’d like more clarity on task breakdown between lead organizers and project manager.
  • The project seems to be realistic with appropriate staff support. Participants seem to have relevant Wikimedia experience, but I am confused regarding their organisational experience and structure behind this grant. Basically we are funding 501c3 Legal and Filing fees (AFAIK that's administrative fees for nonprofits) for some organisation which is not even a Wikimedia user group, which is not really a sustainable investment. We should probably think on how to formalise links between BLT and Wikimedia movement if we are funding them in a way similar to simple APG (allied organisation? user group?)
  • This is a very achievable goal, as this organization has proven themselves before. My concern is the budget. I understand the costs are appropriate, but maybe funding could look into additional funding options (perhaps from arts organizations).
  • The project has many notifications and endorsements. The community is well informed and the team has many ways to spread the activities across the focus group of this project.
  • Project has an impressive number of endorsements and has engaged target communities. I’m a bit concerned about some of the Wikidata issues/disagreements and the energy and time likely required to resolve them - ideally, this could serve as a model of future Wikipedia Meet Up/Wikidata collaboration, however I also think it could become a big distraction for the organizers.
  • Pros: very specific target community focus, good track record of working with this community, and significant support from English Wikipedia and US community in general. Con: previous issues with Wikidata community were poorly managed but looks like that can be resolved shortly.
  • This project is all about diversity and representation of art and culture without bias on Wikipedia. Engaging the target community this project grant notes is highly important. I do hope the organizers find a way to engage the community they develop in order to retain the editors. Otherwise, I see the individual training and work not as effective as it could be.
  • I slightly in favor to don't finance it seconding the criteria that a diversity gap cannot be filled only insisting on a content gap. The artists of African diaspora are they encyclopedic or not? Excluding the concept that they are part of this diversity. At that point I don't have parameters to evaluate the impact (how important is the content) and in addition I don't know how the costs of personel is calculated (i.e. project management 27'300$: how many hours? How many months?). The proposal is weakly documented.
  • The articulation between the budget and activities should be made more clear ; the budget is detailed enough but spendings should be linked to actions, thus increasing its clarity.
  • I support funding but only if organisational structure is clearly defined. This is a simple APG-level proposal for some organisation which has no formal ties with Wikimedia movement, I think that covering their organisational expenses is not really something we usually do. If we are speaking of BLT with website at , they are very far from transparency standards of Wikimedia movement, so I have no idea on whether they have capacity and experience to handle that amount of staff or not. At the same time the project is good and is worth supporting, targets are in line with increase in budget and staffing, thus activity-wise this looks good.
  • I love this project and I really feel strongly about the diversity they are trying to create. Reducing bias and fostering creation of information from the culture is highly important. BLT is doing more than just creating information. They are giving people back their authorship. In the large scheme of grants, I do wish they would seek additional funding to help cover what we couldn’t. For the amount requested ($72,094) I worry this might not be something the project grants could support alone. I completely understand the breakdown of the amounts, but wonder if perhaps additional organizations could sponsor BLT for event space, food, and childcare. These are things the organizers could seek and these organizations would receive “sponsor status” on their website, printed materials, etc. I would also like to see the travel budget explained a bit more - are some of these meetings something that could happen online or do all representatives have to attend?

This proposal has been recommended for due diligence review.

The Project Grants Committee has conducted a preliminary assessment of your proposal and recommended it for due diligence review. This means that a majority of the committee reviewers favorably assessed this proposal and have requested further investigation by Wikimedia Foundation staff.

Next steps:

  1. Aggregated committee comments from the committee are posted above. Note that these comments may vary, or even contradict each other, since they reflect the conclusions of multiple individual committee members who independently reviewed this proposal. We recommend that you review all the feedback and post any responses, clarifications or questions on this talk page.
  2. Following due diligence review, a final funding decision will be announced on March 1st, 2019.

Questions? Contact us.

Please note that these comments were presented by the committee prior to the interview, and so shouldn't be interpreted as a follow-up to the interview. --Marti (WMF) (talk) 16:20, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Round 1 2018 decisionEdit


Congratulations! Your proposal has been selected for a Project Grant.

WMF has approved partial funding for this project, in accordance with the committee's recommendation. This project is funded with $53,000

Comments regarding this decision:
The committee is pleased to support partial funding for BlackLunchTable/BLT 2018. We are happy to be one of the sources of support for the creative work that the grantees are doing to empower people to write the histories of their own cultures. The committee was uncomfortable funding the original request in full because the amount significantly exceeds the program precedent for a new organization doing offline outreach. Instead, they are funding the full amount of the lower, adjusted request you provided.

The committee is eager to see your organization succeed in establishing a sustainable platform as a nonprofit. One committee member with experiencing founding a nonprofit has offered to serve as a project consultant on a pro bono basis as an additional form of nonmonetary support. Marti will reach out to you to confirm that this is welcome, and then help put you in touch with the committee member.

New grantees are invited to participate in a Storytelling Workshop on June 5 and a publicly streamed Project Showcase on June 14. You can learn more and sign up to participate here: Telling your story.

Next steps:

  1. You will be contacted to sign a grant agreement and setup a monthly check-in schedule.
  2. Review the information for grantees.
  3. Use the new buttons on your original proposal to create your project pages.
  4. Start work on your project!

Questions? Contact us.

Where is the new budget? --Nemo 19:32, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: This amount was requested by the applicants given the feedback from the committee. There isn't a specific budget tied to this exact funding amount, but this detailed budget linked from the proposal page (see the 2018 revised estimate tab) should give you an idea of how the funds will be generally distributed. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:33, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I've read the initial budget. I was curious if some items had been cut more than others. I guess your answer means they'll choose themselves. --Nemo 07:34, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
However, on reading how they calculated the amount, I'm happy to see that "501c3 Legal and Filing fees" became 0 $. As I said above, I think it's not especially appropriate to spend WMF money on such items. I would have preferred this cut to be explicit in the approval, to avoid setting a precedent where somebody could claim that such expenses were funded before. Nemo 07:37, 19 May 2018 (UTC)
Return to "Project/BlackLunchTable/BLT 2018" page.