Every year, dozens of volunteer- and partner-led campaigns take place around the world to close cultural content gaps, improve representation, and engage new people on Wikimedia projects.
For example, Women in Red, Art+Feminism, WikiGap, Wiki Loves Women, and #VisibleWikiWomen work to strengthen coverage by and about women on Wikimedia projects, often with an emphasis on women who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color. Groups such as Black Lunch Table and AfroCrowd focus on adding knowledge about Black history and people of African descent to our projects. Wiki Loves Pride is a global campaign to expand and improve LGBTQI+ content online. The Wiki Loves Africa photography campaign, AfroCine project, and Africa Wiki Challenge aim to increase information on our projects from African countries. The impact is real: For example, since Wiki Loves Africa started in 2014, over 72,000 images have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons; they have been seen 787 million times.
The Wiki Loves Monuments campaign and Wiki World Heritage User Group work toward globally representative documentation of the world’s built heritage. Initiatives such as the Arctic Knot Wikimedia Language Conference, Wikitongues, and WikiLovesFolklore leverage Wikimedia projects to promote and preserve Indigenous languages and cultures.
These groups are just some of many working to improve diversity and participation across the Wikimedia ecosystem. Join them!
Foundation programs and partnerships
The Wikimedia Foundation works with volunteer communities and partners to enable the use of Wikimedia projects for free global learning and the sharing of cultural heritage. It also conducts research around knowledge gaps.
Wikimedia in Education promotes equity in education by expanding access to linguistically and culturally relevant open educational resources, as well as providing opportunities for teachers and students to participate in knowledge production. In 2020, the Foundation joined UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition, allowing us to discover new ways to support education for people and communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom program, co-created with Wikimedia communities underrepresented in our projects, trains educators to use Wikimedia projects to develop information literacy skills.
Separately, the Foundation supports community collaborations with libraries and cultural institutions around the world, such as the Museu Paulista in Brazil and the Smithsonian Institution in the US, helping to share collections previously held behind closed doors and surface marginalized histories. Our collaboration with the African Library & Information Associations & Institutions (AfLIA) has spurred contributions to Wikimedia projects by hundreds of librarians and information professionals across Africa, including through our #1Lib1Ref (One Librarian, One Reference) information quality campaign.
The Foundation is also working on a set of research initiatives to study and address knowledge gaps. This includes the Knowledge Gaps Index, a tool to measure and track our progress towards knowledge equity.
The Wikimedia Foundation supports volunteer and partner efforts to promote knowledge equity through a range of funding programs. Our grantmaking strategy was developed in collaboration with our volunteer community and is centered on decentralized decision-making, working with regional committees, and reaching underrepresented communities.
Additionally, the Foundation’s Equity Fund is a $4.5 million fund to support organizations that are expanding knowledge equity by addressing structural inequalities relating to racial equity around the world. Through the fund, the Foundation will build a robust ecosystem of institutional partners working at the intersection of free knowledge, anti-racism, and racial justice. The inaugural group of grantees were announced in September 2021.
The @Wikimedia movement is committed to knowledge equity and breaking down the biases and inequities in our projects that prevent people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge. Help #OpenTheKnowledge.
Many of our projects, including Wikipedia, rely on secondary sources for their content. Due to inequities across the information landscape — the universe of resources we turn to when we are looking for knowledge — traditionally overlooked people and groups receive less attention from media, academics and other researchers, making it more difficult to meet Wikipedia’s notability criteria. Much of the world’s history has been written about men, often from a Western viewpoint. A rich ecosystem of secondary sources is required to create and improve content.
For example, women are less than a quarter of the people heard; read about; or seen in newspaper, television, and radio news. This lack of media coverage results in a lack of source material for Wikipedia contributors to create or improve articles about women.
The Foundation leads campaigns, such as Project Rewrite, and hosts events with partners within the wider media and information landscape to raise awareness of the need for reliable secondary sources to make our projects more reflective of our world.
Our movement is rooted in the original promise of the internet to catalyze ideas and connect people across geographies, languages, and experiences. We believe in technology for good, decolonizing the internet, and developing products and new features that ensure everyone can participate meaningfully with our projects.
We aim for our interfaces to be accessible by design, helping users overcome any barriers that may exist between them and the knowledge our projects provide. These barriers could include disability, limited digital access, or low levels of technical expertise, to name a few.
At the moment, we are working to update Wikipedia’s interface to be more inclusive of and accessible to internet users today. Our Inuka team delivers compelling experiences to Wikipedia readers in emerging markets, driving increased access to and adoption of Wikipedia in areas where internet use is rapidly growing. New resources are helping newcomers overcome technical, conceptual, and cultural challenges they often experience when editing Wikipedia. Additionally, our content translation tool simplifies translating Wikipedia articles into different languages, helping to reduce our knowledge gap.
Universal Code of Conduct
We are committed to fostering a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for new and diverse groups on Wikimedia projects. Unfortunately, women, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, as well as LGBTQI+ people often face increased scrutiny, pressure, or outright harassment on the internet.
The Wikimedia communities ratified the revised enforcement guidelines for our Universal Code of Conduct in early 2023. This global set of community standards will prevent and address harassment and other negative behavior across Wikipedia and all Wikimedia projects. Through a collaborative process, we will work alongside movement volunteers to establish proactive and responsive measures, such as training and guidance, defining violations, and pathways to address violations.
Explore knowledge equity research and data →
#OpenTheKnowledge promotes radical knowledge equity. It recognizes Wikimedia projects, including @Wikipedia, do not reflect the diversity of our world. Everyone can help to change that! Learn more.