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This submission is waitlisted for WikiConference North America 2018. It was not scheduled in the first round of scheduling, but may still be scheduled after further review, as slots open up, or as a pre-conference session.

WikiSlavery - best practices, strategies and guidelines documenting contentious subjects of slavery on wikipedia.

Theme (optional)
Editor Recruitment & Retention, Policy & Guidelines, Inclusion & Diversity
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
panel AND workshop
Darold Cuba
E-mail address

Wikimedia username
Affiliation(s) (optional)
Wikimedia NY, AfroCROWD, Columbia University Oral History Masters Program

How to document, record, source and understand slavery on Wikipedia can sometimes become a contentious discussion and enterprise, of which even I have found myself unwittingly encumbered. Even the inclusion of slavery in Wikipedia is a diverse experience, with many different perspectives, lenses, biases and stories existing in the ether of the platform and occasionally crashing into each other. From my own experience with editing on the subject of slavery, I’ve realized there is no one standard process of dealing with the topic and the many, varied forms that it has taken. Many other Wikipedians have also expressed such experiences (although they may have not been as bold as I in engaging in such discussions online), and it seems there would be a great service and resource for the whole community to explore these issues in a real live setting amongst the larger Wikimedia community.

I propose a forum and cross-section of a panel of leading scholars from the Wikimedia community and the larger academic and public to not only discuss the issues and explore the Wikipedia experience in documenting slavery, but whether or not there is a way to create policy, guidelines and maybe rules around the different institutions, systems and practices of human enslavement on the platform. The resulting conversations would help the Wikipedia community navigate these areas, as well create or identify groups (official or unofficial) that are dedicated to exploring these circumstances, and proposing best practices. Groups like AfroCROWD, WhoseKowledge and other groups that already exist within the Wikimedia community do a great job of exploring these issues, and representatives from these communities would be a great resource in a discussion and workshop

Afterwards, with the different ideas, guidelines, strategies, resources and best practices, etc presented during the panel discussion, immediately try them out hands on in a workshop format, where edit-a-thons and even record-a-thons can also take place, and different strategies and practices can be employed, dissected and explored for effective results. The results can then be used to come to a consensus to create a larger policy and best practices guideline for further use, discussion and exploration as well.

Length of presentation
45 min panel, 75 minute workshop
Special requests
projector for slideshow for panel, projector for workshop
Preferred room size
Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?
not (yet) at Wikipedia, but on writing and documenting slavery for the public with my social startup #HackingRacism, at Columbia University’s Business School, Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, and Eastern Connecticut State University.
If you will be incorporating a slidedeck during your presentation, do you agree to upload it to Commons before your session, with a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license, including suitable attribution in the slidedeck for any images used?


Will you attend WikiConference North America if your submission is not accepted?


Interested attendees

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  1. Jami (Wiki Ed) (talk) 22:19, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
  2. Sbbarker19 (talk) 01:38, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
  3. Uncommon fritillary (talk) 00:59, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
  4. Add your username here.