Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Election/2024/Candidates/Justine Msechu

Account Justine Msechu (talk meta edits global user summary CA)
Candidate details
  • Languages: Kiswahili , English
  • Region: Sub-saharan Africa
  • Active wikis: Swahili Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons
  • Wikimedian since: 2021
Selected home wiki Swahili Wikipedia
Type of seat (regional; community-at-large; or both) (division of regional seats) SSA
Candidate Introduction
Introductory statement / Application summary (maximum 200 words): Why are you running for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee? What would you contribute? Motivated by a desire to promote equity and inclusivity within the Wikimedia community, I'm applying for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C). My analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and unwavering commitment to fairness make me a strong candidate. I'm dedicated to upholding the UCoC and fostering a respectful environment for all contributors. Thank you for considering my application.
Please describe your Wikimedia experience (such as contributions to the Wikimedia projects, memberships in Wikimedia organizations or affiliates, experience working on conduct issues in your community, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation in building Wikimedia policies). My experience with Wikimedia revolves around active participation and contribution across various projects and community engagements. I've been involved in editing and creating content on Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons, focusing on topics related to culture, technology, and social issues. Additionally, I've volunteered with Wikimedia affiliates and organizations, including serving as the leader of Wikimedia Community Kilimanjaro.

In my role as a community leader, I've organized and facilitated numerous events and workshops aimed at empowering contributors and promoting free knowledge. These include Africa Day events, writing contests, and campaigns focusing on topics like human rights and climate change. Through these initiatives, I've not only helped enrich Wikimedia projects with diverse content but also fostered a sense of community and collaboration among contributors.

Moreover, I've been actively involved in addressing conduct issues within the Wikimedia community. I've mediated conflicts, facilitated discussions on conduct-related topics, and promoted adherence to Wikimedia's policies and guidelines, including the Universal Code of Conduct (U4C). Ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all participants has been a priority in my community engagement efforts.my Wikimedia experience encompasses a range of contributions, leadership roles, and advocacy efforts aimed at advancing the mission of free knowledge and fostering a vibrant and inclusive community.

Professional Experience, Skills and Education
Please briefly describe 3 situations that show how you worked on, or advised others on, a complex conduct or policy issue. How did you work with others to address the situations? Sorting Out Problems in Group Chats:

Once, in our Wikimedia chat group, some people weren't getting along. They disagreed about what should be okay to say and how to talk to each other. So, I organized a chat where everyone could talk about their feelings. We listened to each other and tried to find ways to talk nicer and agree on what's okay to share. Together, we made some rules about how to chat respectfully, so everyone feels comfortable.

Following Rules in Project Work: While we were working on a project for Wikimedia, we had some trouble because not everyone was following the rules. So, I talked to the team about what the rules are and why they're important. We figured out which parts of our project needed to change to follow the rules better. Then, we made a plan to fix those things. We kept checking to make sure we were doing things right while still getting our project done.

Dealing with Bad Behavior at an Event: At a Wikimedia event, one person was acting in a way that made others uncomfortable. I talked to them privately to explain why their behavior wasn't okay and how it was making people feel. I also talked to the event organizers and others involved to figure out what we could do. Together, we decided on steps to fix the problem, like supporting the people who felt upset and making sure everyone knew the rules for behavior at the event.

Leadership Experience
Can you describe a policy, on wiki or off, that you helped to create or change? What did you learn from this experience? Making a New Rule:

Once, in our Wikimedia group, we realized we needed a new rule to help us work better together. We talked about it as a team and decided what the new rule should be. Then, we wrote it down and shared it with everyone. We also talked about why this rule was important and how it would make things better for everyone. After that, we started following the new rule and kept checking to make sure it was working okay.

What I Learned: From this experience, I learned how important it is to talk and listen to each other when making new rules. It's not just about coming up with a rule, but also about explaining why it's needed and making sure everyone understands and agrees. It taught me the value of teamwork and communication in creating and implementing policies that benefit the whole group.

How have you been able to empower people to make their voices heard? Helping People Speak Up:

I've encouraged others to share their thoughts and ideas by creating a welcoming environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves. I've listened carefully to what others have to say and made sure their voices are heard and respected. I've also provided support and encouragement to those who may feel unsure about speaking up, helping them to gain confidence in sharing their opinions. By fostering open communication and inclusivity, I've empowered people to make their voices heard and contribute to our collective efforts.

Sometimes in professional situations, there are personality conflicts. Explain how you remain productive even with personality conflicts. Handling Personality Conflicts at Work:

When there are disagreements or clashes in personalities at work, I focus on staying professional and keeping the main goal in mind. Instead of letting personal differences affect our work, I try to understand where the other person is coming from and find common ground. I communicate openly and respectfully, focusing on the task at hand rather than dwelling on personal issues. If needed, I involve a mediator or seek help from a supervisor to resolve the conflict constructively. By maintaining professionalism and focusing on our shared objectives, I ensure that productivity isn't affected by personality conflicts.

Strategic Thinking
In your opinion, how can the U4C be a positive influence in the Wikimedia movement? Positive Impact of U4C in Wikimedia:

The U4C, or Universal Code of Conduct, can bring positive changes to the Wikimedia movement by creating a safer and more respectful environment for everyone involved. It establishes clear guidelines for behavior, ensuring that interactions within the community are respectful and inclusive. This can help prevent conflicts and harassment, making Wikimedia a more welcoming space for contributors from diverse backgrounds. By promoting mutual respect and accountability, the U4C fosters a culture of collaboration and trust, ultimately enhancing the overall experience for participants in the Wikimedia movement.

How would you help the Universal Code of Conduct develop and improve over time? Improving the Universal Code of Conduct:

To help the Universal Code of Conduct (U4C) develop and improve over time, I would actively participate in discussions and provide feedback based on my experiences and observations within the Wikimedia community. I would engage with other community members to gather diverse perspectives and identify areas where the code can be strengthened or clarified. Additionally, I would stay informed about best practices and emerging issues related to online conduct and community governance, sharing relevant insights with the U4C development team. By fostering open dialogue and collaboration, we can iteratively refine the U4C to better meet the evolving needs and values of the Wikimedia community.