Hello, all.

As some of you know, Community Engagement had a small realignment last
quarter. Now that it’s further along, we thought it was a good time to
formally share. :)

So, welcome to the reformed Community Engagement!

What’s the major change?

We've restructured Community Engagement, to four primary groups:

   -

   Program Capacity and Learning (integrating Learning & Evaluation,
   Education, and Library), under Rosemary Rein, tasked with supporting
    community partnerships, programs and learning.
   -

   Resources, under Siko Bouterse, tasked with supporting community-led
   impact through grants and other resources.
   -

   Support & Safety (formerly known as Community Advocacy), under me
   (Maggie Dennis), tasked with helping improve trust, safety and collegiality
   within our projects as well as facilitating communication and understanding
   broadly between the WMF and contributors,
   -

   Technical Collaboration (grouping Community Liaisons and Developer
   Relations), under Quim Gil, tasked with improving collaboration between
   software development teams, Wikimedia contributors, readers, and volunteer
   developers.

Four people within Community Engagement have changed which teams they
report to: Floor and Jake (to Program, Capacity, and Learning), Haitham (to
Support and Safety), and Sati (to Resources). This will more closely align
their leadership and reporting structure with the work they’re doing.
Rachel will also be stepping back from leadership of the Liaisons team and
supporting Quim in annual plan and strategic work.

Why did we do this?

For most people outside of the department, this will have very little
impact on your day-to-day relationships with Community Engagement, but
we’re hoping for major impact within our department! The main goal of the
reorganization was more responsive leadership, decision making and improved
lines of communication within, into and out of the department, with a
strong secondary goal of giving the affected teams more flexibility and
clarity around their missions, so that they can adapt better to our
evolving work. When we began this transformation last quarter, we expected
that it would mean most teams (and especially the affected leaders) would
be more engaged, receive more day-to-day mentorship, and that they'd be
able to work more constructively with peers to better craft shared goals
and projects. At the same time we hoped that the team executive would be
able to put more into handling upcoming planning efforts like the strategic
and annual plans. While we are still fine-tuning, this seems to be bearing
out, and we hope that it will continue.

Our ultimate goal, of course, is to figure out the best ways to serve our
communities and our movement through better internal and external
collaboration and through well-defined roles, responsibilities and
processes that are clear and work well for everyone. While this is one step
towards that goal, we are working on others through the strategic process
and the upcoming Annual Plan and through other conversations with you.

We are hosting an office hour on IRC on Friday February 12th at 1900 UTC to
talk over the reorganization and also to discuss the qualities we should be
looking for in a new department lead.[1] (As announced earlier today, I
will be filling in during the search.) I hope you will be able to join us.
If not, we will of course publish the logs and will also be putting
together a brief FAQ to publish on Meta of emerging questions we may
receive about the department. If you have questions you’d like addressed
there, please feel free to ask. :)

Best,

Maggie
[1] For more on office hours and for local time conversions, please see
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/IRC_office_hours

-- 
Maggie Dennis
Director, Support and Safety
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
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