Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Election/2024/Candidates/Ruby D-Brown

Account Ruby D-Brown (talk meta edits global user summary CA)
Candidate details
  • Languages: English, Twi, Ewe
  • Region: Sub-saharan Africa
  • Active wikis: Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons
  • Wikimedian since: 2019
Selected home wiki English Wikipedia
Type of seat (regional; community-at-large; or both) (division of regional seats) SSA and community at large
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? Dear Selection Committee,

I am excited to submit my candidacy for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C). My passion for equity, inclusivity, and fair treatment within communities drives me to contribute meaningfully to the functions and responsibilities outlined for the U4C. I had the privilege of volunteering for the drafting and revision phase of the enforcement guidelines, collaborating closely with the committee and community to ensure inclusivity and reflection of diverse perspectives. This experience provided me with valuable insights and strengthened my commitment to the UCoC's principles. My dedication to upholding the UCoC across all Wikimedia platforms stems from a belief in creating a respectful and safe environment for all contributors, crucial for the sustainability and growth of the Wikimedia movement. I bring a diverse set of skills and experiences, including analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and a strong commitment to equity. If selected, I will approach my responsibilities with diligence, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of the Universal Code of Conduct. I am eager to contribute to the continued success and growth of the Wikimedia movement. Thank you for considering my candidacy. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to serve on the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee.

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). I am a dedicated Wikipedia Volunteer from Ghana, and currently the Sub-saharan Africa Regional coordinator for the WikiForHumanRights campaign 2024 as a volunteer. Since 2019, I have been an active editor in the Wikimedia space, contributing to Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata and spearheading numerous campaigns within the community. My expertise in campaign organizing, community engagements, project and program management was recognized during the role as the Wikiforhumanrights Fellow 2022, affording me the opportunity to collaborate with the global Wikimedia community accross 5 continents. Since then I have served as the Sub-Saharan Africa Anglophone regional coordinator for the Wikiforhumanright campaign for 2023 and 2024 campaign demonstrating my dedication to advancing human rights through Wikimedia..

As a dedicated Wikipedia Volunteer and advocate for open knowledge, I actively contribute to ensuring a respectful and inclusive environment within both online and offline communities. My contributions extend beyond editing Wikipedia articles. During my time as a program manager at OFWA, I organized impactful campaigns such as the Africa Day Campaign 2023 with the Africa knowledge initiative, Africa Wiki Challenge, WikiSkills for Liberians workshop. Teacher Training Association of Ghana (TTAG) Goeas Digital program, and several content camp. In addition to my campaign efforts, I have played key roles in various Wikimedia programs, including the Kiwix4schools Ghana Implementation and the Kiwix4schools Africa Mentorship Program where I developed a Kiwix curriculum and online course for the program.

My commitment to gender equality is evident through initiatives like Women in Red and the Visible Wiki Women Campaign Ghana, Arts +Feminism, #SheSaid, Sheroes of Africa campaign.  I have led several community trainings both online and offline. I contributed to community evlautions and led townhall meetings for community to ensure that their voice is heard and contributed to impactful projects.

I was also the Sub-Sahara Regional Collaborator for Eduwiki 2022 where I created a community Platform on Telegram, Twitter and Eduwiki Africa podcast to enhance more collaboration in Wikimedia in Education Education from the region. Other volunteer roles I have facilitated include; Wiki Indaba Program Committee 2022 Wikimedia Trust and Safety - 2022 Wikimedia Programs committee 2023 UCoC enforcement guidelines UCoC enforcement Guidelines Revision Committee Some of my expertise include Community Engagement Facilitation and training skills Program/Project management Communication Skills Research and Evaluation Skills etc. Throughout my work I have collaborated with several communities from over 20 African countries on diverse project. As part of my work as a community organizer I ensure that the community spaces within which I work adhere to Wikimedia safe space policy and Universal code of conduct. Overall, my experience and advocacy efforts within the Wikimedia movement demonstrate my readiness to contribute meaningfully to the objectives of the UCoC Coordinating Committee.

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? Scenario 1

During our community's mentorship program, a volunteer approached me with grievances regarding her mentor's interactions. Despite her initial anger, I offered a listening ear to understand her concerns and helped to calm her down. I then facilitated a private discussion between the volunteer and her mentor, providing a neutral platform for both parties to express their perspectives and concerns. I encouraged active listening and assisted in clarifying any misunderstandings that arose. Additionally, I took the opportunity to educate both parties about our community's Safe Space Policy, emphasizing the importance of respectful and supportive interactions within our community. By addressing the issue directly and promoting understanding and adherence to our community guidelines, the mentor acknowledged his fault and apologized to the mentee which helped resolve the situation amicably.

Scenario 2

As a volunteer of the Online Wikimania Trust and Safety Committee, I actively promoted awareness of the Friendly Space Policy and ensured that all participants adhered to the friendly space policy that enhanced a welcoming and respectful environment during the online sessions. This helped to minimize and prevented statements or behaviors that could have potentially incite conflict or cause discomfort among attendees.

Scenarios 3

During my tenure as a community engagement coordinator at OFW, I oversaw the operations of several hubs within our organization. One significant issue we identified was the challenge of transitioning leadership roles due to a cumbersome process that volunteers had to navigate before a new leader could be elected. Recognizing that volunteers found this process unappealing, it led to gaps in leadership transitions across some of our hubs. To address this issue, I facilitated community discussions to explore the underlying challenges. Through these conversations, it became evident that the existing process was overly complex and burdensome for volunteers. We collaborated with community members to identify a more streamlined and user-friendly approach to leadership transitions. Additionally, we conducted a comprehensive review of the hub's bylaws to ensure fairness and efficiency in the transition process, while also revising other aspects of the bylaws to better align with the current needs of our community. By engaging the respective communities in this process and incorporating their feedback, we were able to implement changes that not only addressed the immediate issue of leadership transitions but also improved overall governance and operations of the hub

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? One notable policy change I contributed to was the revision of the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines. As a member of a working group tasked with reviewing and updating the guidelines to better reflect the needs and values of the community, I contributed in shaping the revised policy.

Throughout this process, I learned several valuable lessons. Firstly, I realized the importance of gathering community feedback and engaging the community in open and inclusive community discussions with various community settings, helped us gather diverse perspectives and feedback which helped ensure that the revised Code of Conduct was comprehensive and reflective of the community's values. Additionally, the diverse nature of the community meant that we needed highly professional interpreters to help translate both feedback and policy draft to ensure that language was never a barrier in that process. Also another important thing was the diverse representatives on the committee was significant in understanding some of the feedback contextually. I learned the importance of transparency and accountability in policy-making. Keeping the community informed about the rationale behind proposed changes and providing opportunities for input and feedback and also allowing them the opportunity to vote helped bring trust and ownership of the revised policy among community members. In all. My experience in contributing to the revision of the UCoC enforcement guidelines taught me valuable lessons about the importance of inclusivity, clarity, transparency, and accountability in policy development within the Wikimedia movement.

How have you been able to empower people to make their voices heard? Throughout my involvement in the Wikimedia movement, I have prioritized empowering individuals to make their voices heard by promoting an inclusive and supportive environment where everyone feels valued and respected

I do this by actively engaging with my community members through various channels such as online forums, social media platforms, online meetings and in-person events. By listening to their concerns, addressing their needs, and soliciting their feedback, I ensure that their voices are heard and considered in decision-making processes. Eg. During my time at OFWA, I organized several town hall meetings and annual community evaluations since 2019 to 2023 and these feedbacks from the community helped improve our programs and projects, helped us to think of new ways of doing things and allowed us to appropriately address most of the community needs which increased participation and contributions. I organize training sessions, workshops, and mentorship programs to equip community members with the skills and knowledge they need to actively participate in the Wikimedia movement. Some of the training workshops educated the community about the movement strategy 2023. By empowering individuals with the tools and resources to contribute effectively, I enabled them to amplify their voices on Wikimedia projects as well as within the community. I advocate for diversity and inclusion within the Wikimedia movement by actively supporting underrepresented groups like Women and creating opportunities for their voices to be heard through various campaigns like the Visible wiki women, Sheroes of Africa, Women of the Wiki amongst others. Through these targeted outreach efforts amongst others, I ensure that all voices are valued and represented.

Sometimes in professional situations, there are personality conflicts. Explain how you remain productive even with personality conflicts. To retain productivity in the face of personality conflicts, I need to exercise a combination of emotional intelligence, effective communication, and conflict resolution abilities. When utilizing emotional intelligence, I prioritize self-awareness and empathy, acknowledging my own emotions while also recognizing the views and experiences of those involved in the conflict. Being aware of how emotions influence behavior and decision-making enables me to better manage my reactions and approach the situation in a calm and composed manner.

Clear and honest communication is also essential when addressing personality problems. When communicating, being truthful and respectful, and actively listen to all parties' issues and points of view. I also convey my own opinions and feelings in a positive way, concentrating on finding common ground and solutions. I'm able to articulate my own opinions and feelings constructively, focusing on common ground and solutions rather than raising differences. In addition, I use a variety of conflict resolution approaches to address personality problems and reach solutions that are mutually beneficial. In all of these I remain patient and persistent in seeking resolution, recognizing that conflicts are often opportunities for growth and learning.

Strategic Thinking
In your opinion, how can the U4C be a positive influence in the Wikimedia movement? In my opinion, the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) has the potential to have a significant positive impact on the Wikimedia movement. It will ensure that all Wikimedia community spaces, both online and offline, promote a culture of respect, inclusivity, and accountability.

The U4C will play an important role in ensuring that all Wikimedia online and physical locations are safe and welcome to contributors from various backgrounds. They will also ensure that reports are addressed and that individuals feel appreciated and respected, which will contribute significantly to increased engagement and collaboration within the movement. The U4C will help community members gain trust and confidence in Wikimedia governance processes. When contributors believe their concerns will be heard and addressed equitably, they are more inclined to actively participate in the movement and contribute to its success.

How would you help the Universal Code of Conduct develop and improve over time? I plan to improve the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) by:

Gathering feedback from various groups like editors and administrators, Affiliated, Usergroups, chapters and volunteers as well as the Wikimedia Foundation by listening to their perspectives, concerns, and suggestions, I can gain valuable insights into areas where the UCoC may need refinement or enhancement.. Organizing discussions and workshops to address specific UCoC aspects. Regularly reviewing and evaluating the UCoC's effectiveness. Proactively identifying and addressing new challenges that could impact the UCoC.