Wikimedia LGBT+/Governance/2024-06-08

This online video conference is focused on the tasks of governance and the LGBT+ User Group. The meeting is intended as an opportunity for core organizers to discuss shared opportunities, challenges, and ideas.

  • Date: 8 June 2024
  • Time: 16001730 UTC+0 (9am SFO, 10am CDMX, 12 noon NYC, 5pm London, 6pm Paris)
  • Duration: 90 minutes

The Wikimedia Universal Code of Conduct will be followed for this meeting.



Anonymous members might also be present

Agenda and notes



  1. Owen Blacker
  2. Paperboy Prince
  3. Freddy Veloz
  4. Ayokanmi Oyeyemi
  5. Lane Rasberry (advisor)
  6. others

Agenda and notes
  1. Funding updates
    1. For info: General Support Fund grant response: we have been awarded the full USD 131'000
    2. For info: See committee feedback on Meta
    3. For discussion: Which metrics do we want to work to this year?
      1. Successfully hire an ED and an MC
    4. Action for Owen: Start discussion on this by email — to defer for 3 months, so we can hopefully have an ED helping make these decisions.
    5. For discussion: Differentiate between milestones and outcomes
      1. Not discussed
    6. For discussion: Consult on programmatic priorities
      1. Not discussed
    7. Action needed: Do we need accounting to be budgeted for?
      1. Not discussed
    8. Action needed: Update on hiring
      1. We're finalising a job spec and preparing to advertise.
      2. We can invite the funding committee to give feedback once we have a job spec
    9. Action needed: Writing and approving job specs for Exec director and Membership coordinator
      1. We should translate these into Spanish as well
    10. Action for Owen: Talk to the Foundation about using their Greenhouse subscription for posting the ads.
    11. WMNYC just hired an ED around $100k, spending maybe $15k on a hiring agency to find them
      2. They had a shortlist of around 10 candidates; they would likely share that list with us if we wanted
      3. WMNYC ED job spec:
      4. Shortlisting will be time-consuming and we should be aware that the job market is often oversubscribed by applicants
    12. can board members refer people from their social circle?
      1. yes -
      2. make the position as open as possible
    13. question again - is Wikimedia experience necessary?
      1. one answer - experience with an executive experience at another organization could be preferable
      2. answer - likely candidate has executive experience, Wikimedia experience, and experience with LGBT+ community
      3. example of non-LGBT+ person who would understand - someone with trans child or family member
      4. guess - first ED will be someone we know, or someone known personally to someone we know
    14. management
      1. the chair will line-manage the ED, on behalf of the board, but this board is not prepared and has no collective history of routine management of an ED
      2. We should bear in mind that we'll be hiring someone who will work entirely remotely with remote management
      3. the first ED will have to get on and plan things without continuous and direct management
      4. no daily meetings, for example
      5. also useful to consider "managing a board" as something for the job spec
      6. Action for Owen: Adapt the WMNYC ED job spec as a starting point for discussion
  2. WMF asked "While the Committee supported the inclusion of a variety of metrics (e.g., program reporting tools, monitoring of safe space reports, external funding supports), the Committee agrees that not all of the proposed metrics need to be collected / reported this year. However, we would appreciate knowing which ones the User Group will be evaluating this year."
    1. when should we answer?
    2. perhaps in 3 months? the executive director would be part of setting the strategic plan
    3. For info: Discussion about grant terms
    4. WMF grant agreement and crime
    5. the grant requires the organization board to avoid criminal conviction
    6. Wiki LGBT+ is involved in political dissent for LGBT+ rights and other activist causes, so what does this agreement mean to us?
    7. WMF seems to have written this clause referring to serious hidden crimes, like being involved in fraud
    8. examples of illegal activity that is close to Wiki LGBT+ -
      1. organizing LGBT+ events in places where it is illegal to organize LGBT+ events
      2. attending demonstrations where crowds of people arrested at once, including nonviolent protests where people stand together in public places
      3. in some countries transgender health care - hormones - are serious regulated drugs. In some countries people can freely access these, but in others transgender health is highly political and can result in criminal accusations
      4. Wiki LGBT+ routinely supports LGBT+ wiki events around the world. Basic LGBT+ information sharing can be illegal / dangerous in some places.
      5. Wiki LGBT+ is not a political organization and does not share political info. However, there are groups that would say that documenting the concept of LGBT Pride is political, or that routine wiki editing on popular topics is political.
      6. in general LGBT+ people get arrested more than the general population for political issues. This is especially the case in some parts of the world
      7. if anyone on the Board or Staff is arrested then disclose (confidentially) to a board member immediately
      8. Owen and Freddy are signatories to the grant agreement and should be made aware of any risks in this area, so they can agree how to discuss with the Foundation
      9. Owen intends to discuss this further with WMF Human Rights and the Grants team
      10. the WMF wrote this clause for circumstances which do not match Wiki LGBT+'s social context
  3. WMF grant agreement and subcontracting / subgrants
    1. we have some confusion with WMF terms to our grant
    2. in some places, WMF has told us that their grant to us is unrestricted funds
    3. WMF has directed us to not re-grant funds
    4. many wiki community organizations, including wiki LGBT+, send money to third party orgs to do projects
    5. for example, it is very common for an org like Wiki LGBT+ to send money to groups around the world to conduct wiki events, then report results back to Wiki LGBT+
    6. big, established wiki community organizations have grant agreements with WMF which encourage this
    7. small orgs like ours have a different grant agreement which does not anticipate this
    8. Some board members are less concerned at how restrictive this clause actually would be in reality.
  4. Action needed: Potential project: EuroPride Thessaloniki, see Rapid Grant proposal: WikiLovesEuroPride2024 (ID: 22458581)
    1. Action for Owen: Communicate yes, connect with the mediation discussion
    2. For info: Potential funding request from Wikiproyecto LGBT
  5. Project updates
    1. For info: Wiki Loves Pride 2024
    2. Spanish: ~130 signups, 55 articles created
    3. Lots of involvement from Portuguese Wikipedia editors
    4. Action for Freddy: Put together a list of ptwiki editors engaged on eswiki, so we can get in touch and see if pt:Wikipédia:Projetos/Estudos LGBT can be reinvigorated
    5. English: Noone to coordinate this at the moment
    6. Action for Owen: Post to the LGBT Noticeboard on enwiki; message Another Believer
  6. Movement updates
    1. For info: WMF Human Rights Team
    2. Action needed: Who wants to be involved in these discussions?
    3. Owen, Ayokanmi and 1 other
    4. For info: Wikimania 2025, conversations with Gregory Varnum and User:DNdubane (WMF)
    5. WMF interested in our suggestions on potential accommodations they can make with a review to harm reduction and risk mitigation
    6. It would be good to ensure queer wikimedians are making informed decisions about their personal risk levels in Nairobi
    7. Action needed: Who wants to be involved in these discussions?
    8. Ayokanmi, Freddy interested in being involved, possibly also Owen
  7. WMF Board elections
    1. For info: No longer need a shortlisting representative
    2. 4 seats vacant, 12 candidates — 3 are standing for re-election: Wikimedia Foundation elections/2024/Candidates,
    3. Action: Someone should perform a candidate review, to advise UG members how closely aligned the candidates are to our values and mission
  8. AOB
    1. Chair for this board: Provisionally Owen is accepted as chair, but we need to define what that actually means and the duration of the position.
    2. U4C has been partially elected
    3. This is one of the few spaces in the Foundation where sexual and gender minority protections actually exist
    4. Some of these might be secret seats? Or are they just vacant?
    5. Regional seats: 3 of 8 filled (NWE, MENA, ESEAP)
    6. At-large seats: 4 of 8 filled
    7. Action for Owen: Ask about explicit representation of minority groups
    8. UG members have concerns that the elected members are not necessarily supportive of minority rights.
    9. Action for Freddy: Link Owen to the conversation
    10. If they have vacant seats, perhaps they could consider having stakeholder seats (possibly non-voting)
    11. We fear that a misgendering case in a non-English language might not be well handled at present.
    12. West Africa
    13. Getting editors has been quite challenging; WMF grants have helped here some
    14. Wiki For Human Rights Nigeria campaigns have often been quite successful in Nigeria and around West Africa more generally in getting LGBTQ+ content
    15. WMF seek feedback from Affiliate leaders (countries and languages) before awarding grants, which has blocked funding here before. User: Hadassahlove's requests are being declined now as a result, for example Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Rapid Fund/Write for Rights Nigeria 2024 (ID: 22586776),
    16. Action for Ayokanmi: Draft an email to raise this concern around systemic bias to the Grants team
    17. Action for Ayokanmi: Draft a proposal for how Wiki Loves Pride funds could be used to help here
    18. Technology advice for users
    19. It would be good for us to be able to put together a "how to protect your privacy as an editor on queer content" guide, around VPNs, for example.
    20. Conscious that it can be very exclusionary if you try to join meetings using a VPN, an anonymous address and without being connected to a Wiki username; it would be good to make some progress here.
    21. Conscious also that Telegram is not well-trusted in Russia, for example.