Submissions:2019/Creating WikiCommunity at LaGuardia Community College

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2019.


Creating WikiCommunity at LaGuardia Community College


Relationship Building & Support
+ Inclusion and Diversity

Type of session:



This panel will share the work we have been doing with Wikipedia editing and translation at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York City, focusing on the important role of collaborations between students, alumni, faculty, staff and Wikimedians in creating a community dedicated to this work. First, Tara and Ann, two of the organizers of our annual Translate-a-thon, will share how we bring students, faculty, staff and Wikimedia NYC editors together to translate articles. We have had participants translating in around 20 languages for each of our first two years, and have partnered with leaders of other projects relating to language diversity on campus to encourage our college to provide more support and recognition for our multilingual students. We have also worked to ensure that participation in this event, combined with our multilingual advertising around campus, conversations on the campus radio station, and discussions with colleagues, has helped spread awareness about Wikipedia as a values-oriented community. In this portion of the panel, we will also share the results of several classroom projects in which students create and/or edit articles related to course topics. Our approach integrates Wikipedia-based learning into both classroom and co-curricular programming on campus, providing students with opportunities for both personal reflection and public engagement.

Second, Akampreet, Renee, and Pema will be presenting on a student and alumni-led initiative, the “WikiAlumni.” Since the first WikiConference North America in 2014, CUNY students have presented on their Wikipedia projects and shared their enthusiasm for increasing access to educational resources for everyone in the world. Over the years, several generations of LaGuardia students involved in intensive GLAM projects with the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives, grant-funded programs with Consumer Reports, and in one of over a dozen different semester-long Wikipedia projects, have come to form a community of its own, that seeks to continue the bonds within itself and with the larger Wikipedia world. We started working with Wikipedia at different times, with different projects at LaGuardia. Renne started by editing science fiction writer Octavia Butler’s entries as part of a semester-long English 101 class. Akampreet did a year-long GLAM project with the La Guardia and Wagner Archives doing independent research on the history of AIDS in New York City. Pema did independent research on women’s health as part of a Consumer Reports grant funded project. We all kept in touch and returned to LaGuardia to help with events such as the first-ever Wikipedia Translate-a-thon that took place in our part of the world, and we continue to be part of the annual organizing team. Our team of current CUNY students (and LaGuardia Community College alumni) call this effort “WikiAlumni.” This student network will allow us to keep open channels of communication that will help us stay involved with Wikipedia edit-a-thons and serve as mentors/advisors to other students currently involved in new Wikipedia classroom projects. This portion of the panel will present the educational projects we have worked on over the years, announce the WikiAlumni project and hopefully open it up to collaborations with other Wikipedians and college students around the world.

2019 LaGuardia Wikipedia Translate-a-thon:

WikiAlumni: Video link:

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Tara Coleman

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

LaGuardia Community College

Estimated time:

30 minutes

Preferred room size:

Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

Individuals have presented on certain pieces of this work elsewhere, such as at the WikiConference North America last year, but here the focus is less on the products or events themselves and more on the community-building efforts we have engaged in and which we hope to expand further.

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)