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Event Recap: "Revolutionizing Wikipedia: A Queer & Feminist Edit-a-Thon"

Event Recap: "Revolutionizing Wikipedia: A Queer & Feminist Edit-a-Thon"

This post was originally published on futuresinitiative.org on March 1, 2019. To read the original post, click here.

First, I would like to thank Megan Wacha from Wikimedia NYC for leading a workshop on Wikipedia, how to edit articles, and best practices for contributing to the Wikipedia community. In case you missed it, I made a slide deck that goes over the basics to help you get started. Megan drew a crowd of CUNY librarians who told us about upcoming Edit-a-Thons and gave us advice about how to get more educators involved in editing Wikipedia and teaching their students to become contributors as well. This is so in line with the CUNY mission to contribute to the public good, I cannot believe it took me six years at CUNY to go to my first Edit-a-Thon!

After the workshop, we drank coffee, ate lunch and snacks, and worked on Wikipedia articles. My colleague, Katie Kornacki, and I realized that Caroline Sturgis, a woman transcendentalist and poet from the 19th Century, didn’t have a page in English so I created my first Wikipedia article.

I would like to thank Filipa Calado and Stefano Morello, both GCDI Digital Fellows, who helped to plan the workshop and open editing hours. They brought a laptop cart courtesy of the GC Digital Initiatives so a few participants without laptops could borrow them, and they helped develop a list of articles on women and queer people with start or stub articles in Wikipedia that needed more citations and content.

More than 20 editors participated in our Edit-a-Thon, editing 18 articles and creating two new ones in the last 24 hours, and adding 1.76K words to Wikipedia. A total of 116 edits have been made thus far, and we look forward to seeing the impact these editors make in Wikipedia over the next couple months.

I would also like to thank Laurie Hurson, an Open Educational Technologist with the TLC, who led us in a presentation and discussion about teaching with Wikipedia after the open editing hours. She developed this awesome slide deck that you can check out in case you missed it and want to know more about how to bring Wikipedia into your classroom. Based on my own experience, I recommend reaching out to librarians at your own institutions first. Attend an Art+Feminism Edit-a-Thon or training to acquaint yourself with editing in Wikipedia before you start developing an assignment around it.

Finally, I would like to thank Katina Rogers and Lauren Melendez for helping me organize the event space and logistics, the livestream, and all of the FI Fellows, especially Gus Jimenez and Kashema Hutchinson, for helping to promote the event, as well as former FI Fellow Danica Savonick for participating remotely and for asking such great questions via Twitter.

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