Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Executive transition planning

2016-02-25 Thread Gayle Karen Young
I know this isn't easy - not on the Board, not on the senior staff, not on
the staff, and not on Lila.
I'm so sorry and sad for all of us where this has come to, and there is an
enormous amount of goodwill and skill in supporting the board in moving
forward and doing the thorough planning it needs to do from this point
onward.

Wishing you well always,
Gayle


On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 12:14 PM, Sydney Poore 
wrote:

> Patricio, thanks for the update.
>
> I appreciate you and Lila informing the wikimedia movement now, before all
> of the details of the transition plan are complete.
>
> As the BoT works on a transition strategy and plans for hiring a new ED,
> perhaps a member of the Board can take on the role of Chief Communicator.
>
> Understandably, it is not always easy to know when to make announcements
> and updates to the wikimedia movement especially when plans are incomplete.
>
> At this moment in time, a good communication strategy that keeps everyone
> regularly informed will help build a stronger bond between the WMF Board
> and the rest of wikimedia movement.
>
> My thoughts are with you and the rest of the Board as you work through this
> situation.
>
> Warm regards,
> Sydney
>
>
> Sydney Poore
> User:FloNight
> Wikipedian in Residence
> at Cochrane Collaboration
>
> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 1:50 PM, Patricio Lorente <
> patricio.lore...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Dear friends,
> >
> > This week, the Board of Trustees accepted Lila’s resignation. Her last
> day
> > will be  March 31, 2016.
> >
> > I would like to thank Lila for her efforts over these past two years, and
> > her passion for our shared mission. Together, we wish her the best in her
> > future endeavors and accomplishments.
> >
> > The Board of Trustees is meeting regularly to determine next steps. Our
> > top priority is to develop a clear transition plan that seeks to build
> > confidence with community and staff, appoint interim leadership, and
> begin
> > the search for a new Executive Director. We will continue working closely
> > together over the coming days, and will share an update next week.
> >
> > This work will require extensive collaboration by the Board over the next
> > few weeks. Although we know you’ll have questions, it is likely we’ll be
> > very focused on planning the next steps. We appreciate your patience and
> > understanding during this time.
> >
> > Patricio
> >
> > TRANSLATION NOTE: This message is also posted on Meta at the Board
> > Noticeboard for for translation. You can find it here:
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/25_February_2016_-_Executive_transition_planning
> > --
> >
> >
> >
> > ___
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> >
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-19 Thread Gayle Karen Young
I know, Dan, and your commitment and willingness to look at what is amazing
and holding WMF together, your personal decision to seek ways out of a
victim mentality and looking forward, is also absolutely critical right
now.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Gayle Karen Young
Also, +1 to Ori.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:16 PM, Gayle Karen Young <gayleka...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> People will leave despite how much they love a place, its mission, and its
> volunteers at the point it becomes too painful for them to stay. And no one
> can make that decision for them. While the support of one's colleagues goes
> a very long way, it is necessary but not sufficient.  I have been watching,
> even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
> in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
> and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
> of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
> being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
> "normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.
>
> Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
> permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation to
> create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
> and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
> that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
> continually endure.
>
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Dan Andreescu <dandree...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
>> >
>> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the
>> top.
>> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
>> > from Engineering won't be long now.
>>
>>
>> I hope you're wrong, Ori.  I hope people have the presence of mind, like
>> you say - despite the dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
>> among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
>> *really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
>> movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.
>>
>> I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
>> commitment to the amazing community we serve.
>>
>> If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
>> reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just
>> to
>> be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
>> just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so
>> much.
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>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Gayle Karen Young
People will leave despite how much they love a place, its mission, and its
volunteers at the point it becomes too painful for them to stay. And no one
can make that decision for them. While the support of one's colleagues goes
a very long way, it is necessary but not sufficient.  I have been watching,
even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
"normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.

Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation to
create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
continually endure.



On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Dan Andreescu 
wrote:

> >
> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> > from Engineering won't be long now.
>
>
> I hope you're wrong, Ori.  I hope people have the presence of mind, like
> you say - despite the dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
> among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
> *really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
> movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.
>
> I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
> commitment to the amazing community we serve.
>
> If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
> reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just to
> be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
> just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so much.
> ___
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> 
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open Well-Tempered Clavier

2015-03-20 Thread Gayle Karen Young
Listening to this right now with joy. Thanks!


On Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 8:55 AM, Ricordisamoa ricordisa...@openmailbox.org
wrote:

 Il 20/03/2015 14:39, Amir E. Aharoni ha scritto:

 My personal thanks to the people who develop Pywikibot, thanks to which
 uploading 48 huge files to Commons was easy (and indeed, possible - one of
 them is over 100MB).


 \o/


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Announcing interim COO

2015-03-18 Thread Gayle Karen Young
Dear colleagues,

It was a difficult decision to leave the Wikimedia Foundation as its CTCO.
Some of my best memories of my time with the Wikimedia movement include the
privilege of interacting and learning from Wikipedians at the Chapters
Conferences and Wikimanias in D.C., Hong Kong, and London, for which I’m so
grateful. As much as the learnings are the memories -- I have these
beautiful snapshots in my mind of dancing with Wikipedians on the beach in
Hong Kong, singing  “I Will Revise
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/I_Will_Revise” off-key at the top of my
lungs, and I’m very clear that one hasn’t ever properly done karaoke if
they’ve not experienced it with the Germans.

Thank you for teaching me what it is to be part of a global movement, to
respect differences in thoughts and opinions when they are in service of
this beautiful mission we have - of moving from imagining to creating a
world where people can freely access the sum of all knowledge through
collaboration. I’ve been very humbled and I have learned so much from the
dedicated volunteers in our movement.

My personal commitment to our mission stands, so if ever anyone seeks
counsel or thought partnership on leadership issues, people, or diversity
issues in the movement, I’ll be a happy volunteer.

The road goes ever on and on. Live long and prosper.

Gayle Karen Young

gayleka...@gmail.com


Gayle Karen Young
gayleka...@gmail.com  |  415.310.8416




On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 1:52 PM, Lila Tretikov l...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Dear Wikimedians,



 At the Wikimedia Foundation, our mission is to empower, support and engage
 people around the world to share in free knowledge. One of our top
 priorities for the WMF in 2015 is improving organizational effectiveness in
 service of this mission. This means we need to strengthen WMF's ability to
 set and deliver on commitments, improve organizational discipline around
 decision making, and mature internal processes and systems.

 To ensure we can execute on our vision, mission, forthcoming strategy and
 our Call to Action, we have hired for a new position within our C-level
 team. Terry Gilbey will be joining us as interim Chief Operating Officer,
 responsible for building rigor and discipline around our operational
 processes. Terry’s role will help WMF stabilize our core operations so we
 will be ready and able to adapt and innovate in our changing environment.
 It will also help me find more time to focus on our products and
 communities.

 Terry comes from managing his own consulting firm and has been in a
 consulting role at WMF working on a number of projects such as
 goal-setting, financials, and budgeting. He has first-hand experience
 working with the WMF leadership team, and we are all excited to work more
 closely with him. Previously, Terry was the Executive Director of
 Enterprise Operations at Kaiser Permanente, a nationwide healthcare
 organization, and served in various management roles at IBM Global
 Services.

 Terry is originally from England and has lived in the U.S., Europe, Asia,
 and Central America. He currently lives in the South Bay, but also spends a
 lot of time in Panama on a rural farm. He spends his spare time pursuing
 unusual hobbies, such as bull riding, surfing, and more recently,
 supporting a women’s flat track roller derby team. He also rides
 motorcycles, does metal work, and has an avid interest in sustainability.
 An early adopter of Tor, Terry believes strongly in the right to privacy
 and the free and open access to knowledge as an equalizer.

 With the COO position, we will be organizing our HR and Finance teams to
 report to Terry. Garfield will continue as the CFO for the organization, a
 member of the C-level team, and Treasurer of the Board. His roles and
 responsibilities will remain unchanged, reporting to Terry. Terry and
 Garfield will manage all financial and business planning activities and are
 already making progress together. We’ll introduce Terry properly with a
 short QA at the April metrics meeting.

 It is with sadness that I report to you that Gayle Karen Young, Chief
 Talent and Culture Officer has decided move onto her next adventure. Gayle
 let me know she has been looking to move on some time ago, and she felt
 this was the right moment in time. In her three and a half years within the
 Foundation, she has made a tremendous impact creating a HR department that
 is fundamentally about caring for the people in the organization and
 offering services that allow people to do their best work, which has
 supported our mission to help our communities thrive and curate knowledge.
 While we will miss her wisdom and warmth, we thank her for her leadership
 and celebrate her future adventures. HR will report directly to Terry at
 this time.

 Our purpose is to help Wikimedians around the world make the sum of all
 knowledge available to everyone. We believe these changes, effective
 immediately, will help us focus on our continued service to our

[Wikimedia-l] WaPo Wikipedia's 'complicated' relationship with net neutrality

2014-12-01 Thread Gayle Karen Young
Hi folks,


Hope those of you in the US have had a lovely holiday weekend.  I'm getting
caught up and it’s been interesting to read the discussion this article has
prompted -- as this thread has made clear, there’s a lot to discuss, and
people have passionate feelings about the issue. I'm learning a lot. I’ll
leave some more follow-up on the particulars of the policy issues to the
Wikipedia Zero team, but I wanted to clarify some questions people raised
at the beginning on how I happened to be quoted.


The quotes from the article were never intended to represent the official
WMF position -- they were my own musings and spontaneous thoughts, taken
from what I had thought was just a friendly conversation. Last month I was
at an event hosted by the new US television network Fusion to speak on a
panel about millennial digital activism, and after the panel I chatted
about the future of the internet with someone to whom I had just been
introduced. I shared some thoughts, mostly about the ability of the
internet to increase collaboration. I made a couple of comments related
specifically to Wikipedia, including Wikipedia Zero, but they were more
just me exploring my own nascent ideas, not acting as an official voice. I
didn't know it would be used in a story related to net neutrality, nor did
I have the impression that I was being asked for an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation. Talk about a surprise to find myself quoted in
the Post!


I think we were all surprised to see my words represented so officially,
and it’s unfortunate they were used as the basis for representing the
position of the Foundation on net neutrality. What IS true is that I -- and
we -- passionately believe in the importance of Wikipedia Zero. Access to
knowledge is a fundamental right, and Wikipedia Zero is one important tool
that helps realize that right. It also gets us one step closer to that
vision of a world where every single person on the planet has free access
to the sum of all human knowledge -- which is certainly why I am here (and
why a lot of you are too).


Warm regards,

Gayle
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[Wikimedia-l] Thoughts on Admin Rights on WMF Wiki (and other things)

2013-05-22 Thread Gayle Karen Young
*

Hi folks!

I felt like Sue did a nice job earlier of responding in an earlier thread
of http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2013-May/125807.html,
 but here’s my response as well. Wikimedia Foundation wiki has always been
uniquely governed among the family of Wikimedia wikis, with decision-making
authority historically placed with the WMF itself due to its purpose
(hosting of official documents like bylaws, IRS tax returns, Board
resolutions, staff listings, official WMF communications of various kinds,
etc.). While the Board was described as the decision-making authority for
content disputes before the organization had paid staff, in day-to-day
practice, staff members are now helping to maintain and post many of those
documents.

Consistent with this, my goal was to ensure that the function of a wiki
adminstrator, which is often identified with community self-governance, is
clearly mapped against the governance model of the site: the organization,
with that function delegated to staff members in day-to-day practice, is
directly responsible for making and arbitrating decisions on the Wikimedia
Foundation’s website. This does not preclude volunteers from being granted
administrative-level access where a project requires it and where we have a
good working relationship that makes this possible. However, I wanted to
create clarity as early and possible, and therefore requested that
administrator accounts initially be limited to staff.  I think it's a
reasonable criteria that in addition to having a project reason, being able
to work with Foundation staff in a collaborative manner should be a part of
that - and it does take two to tango (i.e. the Foundation should be as
responsible for being collaborative).

Clearly I did this in a manner which was needlessly abrupt and didn’t
acknowledge the key role that many volunteers have played in the WMF wiki
over the years - so I’ll say that this has been a hell of a learning
experience, and one I’ve actually appreciated, as rough as it’s felt. For
this, I have apologized both on the list and to the individuals affected.
The overall change does reflect, in the Wikimedia Foundation’s view, a
necessary clarification in how the contents of the Wikimedia Foundation
site (wikimediafoundation.org) are governed and how decisions are made or
abitrated. I know this will disappoint some of you, but I also want to say
that I’m not planning to reverse this decision.

I’m also wondering what’s necessary to create better interactions and more
visibility with one another, which is one of the foundations of trust. I’m
not so active on this mailing list, so you don’t know me and I don’t know a
lot of you.  My personal experience is that it helps to have a sense of who
people are to really be able to assume good intent, so I’d like to also
start a different conversation if y’all are game in the next few weeks.
(Someone wrote me recently in light of this that I must be either stupid or
malicious, which I thought was sort of funny, but it highlighted for me
that without more visibility into me and what I do, you really could think
either of me - or both.)

John Gottman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gottman, in his research
on healthy relationships, talks about the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse of
relationships - elements that contribute negatively to every relationship.
They are criticism, stonewalling, disdain, and contempt.  These are
elements that I aspire to eliminate in my correspondence with all of you,
and that when I experience them aimed at me,  erode my ability to be
collaborative with y’all and I’d like to work on that. I realize I
committed the first error in the last round, so I have some ground to cover.

Negative interactions (mine included) “weigh” more than positive
interactions. People remember them more, and are affected by them more
deeply. Gottman, in marriage relationships, says you need a 5:1 ratio of
positive to negative interactions for healthy relationships. I think that's
true in many kinds of relationships for them to be healthy, thriving
interactions.

He also mentions that having a sense of what matters to other parties in a
conflict matters, so I wonder, do we have a sense of who each other is and
what we care for?


In the hope that it helps you to get to know me a little, I’d like to share
a few things about who I am and also extend the invitation that I’d love to
know these about any of you who care to respond.

Most of my early world was on-line as a really awkward geek kid.  I spent
time on BBSes over modems growing up, so most of the way I knew my friends
was through text, later playing an admin role on a few MUSHes. I have a lot
of interest areas - I sing, I played LARPs, I love Star Trek and Broadway
musicals, write fanfiction, am an avid reader, and love travel. In my spare
time, I run an organization called Spark http://www.sparksf.orgthat works
on global women’s human rights issues.  My core commitment is to technology
as a 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

2013-05-12 Thread Gayle Karen Young
Hello folks,

So... I caught bits of this while I was on layover between plane flights,
so I've had time to have the multiple reactions that one has (nothing like
an 11-hour flight to think about a situation). I've had time to feel
defensive, insulted, opened, humbled, curious, thoughtful, regretful,
optimistic...

This is an earnest “I'm sorry, I'll do better” and I don't perfectly know
what that looks like yet, because I (and I suspect like you) go from day to
day within in a complex life trying to do the best I can. I'll respond more
later, as I've got some scheduled time a way and like all human beings I
need it, but will circle back when I return to work next Monday.

I was thinking that I would be a very different person if I never made
mistakes. :) In fact, contemplation of that is rather funny if any of you
know me or the circumstances of my life. I could have done the process
differently.

I DO sometimes forget we're all on the same side. That's a darned shame. I
do it sometimes because part of my job is to deal with how beleaguered some
members (not all – I'm trying to find my way back to nuance and ask you to
too) because sometimes they ask me for help, because I deal every day with
burnout and chaos and challenging interpersonal dynamics, and I see some of
the downright abusive messages that no person (staff or admin or user or
each and any one of you reading this) should be subject to while pursuing
work they love. (I also get to see some of the grateful messages, the way
we support one another, not just tear people down. That part is /awesome/.)

I find our staff and volunteers that I've worked with remarkable - people
who I'm ridiculously grateful to work with and for.  And I have no doubt
that some of you have experienced staff (myself included) in ways I'm blind
to, and I think there's room for all of us to get better. But I wish people
could see how, even though it's our job, it can be sometimes just
exhausting to try to please so many different voices. Some of you may think
that the Foundation doesn't think about the community – and I think we
sometimes listen so much that it's a little crazy because, as has been
explained to us, the community is not one voice, not one thing, not one
person. It's a vast, beautiful, sometimes conflicted, sometimes coordinated
people working on this enormous shared endeavor. So it's not that community
is not worth listening to, but how and where and to what pieces, and how do
we get better at it and how do we amplify the constructive voices and not
let deconstructive voices (both within the Foundation and without) tear us
down because this work is hard. All our work is hard. I do appreciate the
volunteers who have stepped and kept things going when I was personally at
capacity.

When I read that I need to remember just who pays my salary, I think a
whole bunch of things (and have the various reactions I have, where both
assume good faith that someone means that and I also look at the
possibility that it was meant to be insulting and provoking). And at the
end of the day, millions of people do and hundreds of thousands of editors
help make that happen. I don't forget that. I do think that I am called to
this role because on my best days, it uses me well – it uses my skills and
knowledge and abilities in ways that I hope are good for the world. I am
not anyone's servant (except perhaps for this cause), and I am deeply
listening.

So sometimes I forget we're on the same side, and thank you for reminding
me. Thank you for the temperate voices, the ones who present a point of
view I hadn't considered. As you can likely imagine, I hear more that way.
Most people do.

Someone mentioned that it's easier to lay good ground than to fix something
in retrospect, and that most certainly is very, very true. :) (I really
dislike that other people had to answer for me while I was out of
commission - and my own fault for doing something on my to-do list the
Friday before leaving town. Totally get that.)

So...listening, thinking... also tired, but optimistic, and I hope and want
to keep doing better. This definitely feels like a bit of trial by fire.

Warmest regards,

Gayle



-- 
Gayle Karen K. Young
Chief Talent and Culture Officer
Wikimedia Foundation
415.310.8416
www.wikimediafoundation.org
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[Wikimedia-l] Mid-Year Financial Statements

2013-03-20 Thread Gayle Karen Young
Hi Pine!

*We overtly recruit outside of SF. I think our latest hire was from Texas!
Last year 23% were remote employees, and that percentage has increased to
31% this year. Of that 31%, 17% live abroad. **As of February 2013, 27% of
staff is female, 28% minority, 34% are foreign nationals, and 69% have
lived or worked abroad. ** We'd like more. :) If anyone knows interested
candidates, current jobs can be found at jobs.wikimedia.org.*
*
*
*Warmest regards, Gayle*
*
*


--
From: *ENWP Pine* deyntest...@hotmail.com
Date: 11 March 2013 13:06
To: gb...@wikimedia.org gb...@wikimedia.org, 
wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org





Garfield,

Thanks for the report.

Congrats again to the fundraising team for what they accomplished this for
this round of fundraising.

The QA for the mid-year report talks about a hiring pace that is slower
than planned, and says We attribute this to the fact that the market for
engineers is extremely competitive in San Francisco right now. I'd like to
ask you or Gayle about how aggressive WMF is about recruiting outside of
SF. I think there are probably engineers at large tech companies outside of
SF who would enjoy a change of culture from their current employers to WMF
if they're willing to take a pay cut. I think that they would be good
candidates for the recruiting team, so I'd strongly encourage aggressive
recruiting outside of San Francisco.

Thanks,

Pine

-- 
Gayle Karen K. Young
Chief Talent and Culture Officer
Wikimedia Foundation
415.310.8416
www.wikimediafoundation.org
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[Wikimedia-l] Your support is wanted: The WMF Board of Trustees is looking for a new Board member

2013-02-17 Thread Gayle Karen Young
To respond in brief on the m|Oppenheim hire to support us
administratively on this search, board searches are incredibly time
and resource intensive, and need to be handled with a great deal of
sensitivity. We already have a great many interested parties, so the
task needs to include screening hundreds of people in a very short
amount of time - within the next month -  (screening first bios and
then phone screens to gauge initial fit and interest), writing
summaries of each candidate for the board for their consideration,
setting up the board interviews which requires international
coordination at multiple stages, and a host of other things.

m|Oppenheim ran the searches for the senior leadership team at WMF
except for Erik and Frank, so they have the advantage of knowing us
pretty well and how quirky we are, and they are scouring their
international network to find the right talent to augment the existing
board skill set and competencies.

Please do feel free to reach out to me if you have additional questions!

Sent from my mobile device

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[Wikimedia-l] Aaron Swartz Community Impact

2013-01-14 Thread Gayle Karen Young
*I sent this to the staff list and am sending it to wikimedia-l now as
well. I didn’t know Aaron Swartz, but many friends and colleagues that I
respect and admire were influenced and impacted, by both his life and
death.  I’m sad for those who knew him, and I carry the sense that the
world is a worse place for his absence.

I’m worried that other talented, smart people who see what is wrong with
this world and try to change it against overwhelming odds will see this as
one more thing that tips the scales towards the “this isn’t worth it” or “I
can’t exist like this”, slide a little further down the slippery slope into
their own abyss. I’m worried about people in pain and confusion, who may
not have the people in their lives who are able to handle explicit or
implicit expressions of pain and grief, who may feel isolated or sad and
not able to reach out for help, or don’t believe they can be helped.

I started my career studying depression treatment and prevention because
I’ve seen what it does to people - whether they’re beautifully ordinary
people you’d meet on the street or whether they’re great shining lights
whose loss makes you want to rail at an unfair universe -  and because I
have my own history of major depressive episodes and my own sit-down with a
bottle of pills one dark night and I’ve grieved suicide in my own family
system and lived with its consequences. For the living, different kinds of
death leave different kinds of wounds, and I think suicide leaves the most
jagged, livid ones. If you’ve had a loved one pass from illness or old age,
the wound is just different than that of suicide.  As an illness,
depression is painful and inherently isolating, and it makes people feel
terrible about themselves - and isolation is a major factor for suicide.
 Depression slams blinders on possibility, when people most need to be able
to see the options and paths before and around them, and when people need
to have access.   The state inherently robs someone of their ability - and
even of the belief that help is possible and available.

My favorite author
http://www.amazon.com/Night-Falls-Fast-Understanding-Suicide/dp/0375701478on
this topic, Kay Redfield Jamison, wrote “When people are suicidal, their
thinking is paralyzed, their options appear spare or nonexistent, their
mood is despairing, and hopelessness permeates their entire mental domain.
The future cannot be separated from the present, and the present is painful
beyond solace.”

The factors that generally lead to depression and suicide are complex,
though people keep trying to find the one tipping point thing, the one
cause.   At the end of the day, death forces the living to sit with the
unknowns. I think anecdotally that if you live long enough, you develop a
certain resiliency and a greater capacity - but that’s if you get to that
point in the first place.

So here’s your public service announcement - communities where there is
exposure to suicide via media/internet carry greater risks. It’s called suicide
contagion http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00031539.htm. As a
community, it’s worth it to be informed and to be extra care-full of those
we interact with,  and to take increased care of your mental health. (Take
a walk. Call a friend.)

Major risk factors
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/riskprotectivefactors.htmlfor
suicide include mental disorders, especially mood disorders, hopelessness,
impulsive/aggressive tendencies, family history or previous attempts,
physical illness, job/financial loss, relationship loss, lack of social
support and isolation, stigma associated with asking for help, cultural
beliefs, and exposure to others who have committed suicide (via internet as
a form of transmission).

If someone you know is suicidal (and especially if they have a plan), get
help. Don’t try to talk them out of suicide. Don’t tell them their family
will miss them or that they’ll be a huge loss, even though both of those
are true. Listen to them. Tell them what they’re going through is
temporary, even if they’ve lived with it for awhile, and that It’s
treatable. It will pass. And for the love of anything you consider holy,
get professional help. They’ll often believe they can’t be helped. If it’s
you, please ask for it. I will find you help. You are not alone. If you
have or had suicidal thoughts, you’re not crazy. It’s okay - or at least,
it’s not yet but it will be.  It’s a signal flare that it’s time to get aid.

Rilke wrote, “I am not yet wise in my grief so this great darkness makes me
small” and I’ve thought often of that line because I needed it to remind me
that I had to learn to be wiser, especially in my grief. I think the other
thing to remember are the words of Mary Oliver, that “To live in this
world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold
it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the
time comes to let it go, to let it go.” For the living, grieving Aaron and

[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: IRC Office Hours

2012-12-26 Thread Gayle Karen Young
Hello!

I'll be doing an open office hours on IRC at #wikimedia-office on January
28th. I'll talk about my first full year at WMF, and answer any questions
to the degree that I'm able to about current HR practices and where I see
the trajectory of needs for the coming year. I'm looking forward to meeting
and chatting with people!

Date: Monday, January 28
Time: 1000 PT/1800UTC

In the meantime, I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a great
start to 2013. :)  Live long and prosper.

Warm regards,
Gayle


-- 
Gayle Karen K. Young
Chief Talent and Culture Officer
Wikimedia Foundation
p. 415.839.6885 x6691
c. 415.310.8416
www.wikimediafoundation.org
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