In my view, the Wikimedia movement and the WMF often miss important
opportunities to fully examine significant controversies in our history.
It's an important practice, and can help parties who disagree absorb
lessons, develop a shared understanding of what happened, and avoid causing
similar problems in the future.
There's one incident that stands out, to me, as a successful effort to do
just that. It comes out of an issue discussed extensively on this list. I
think it's worth pointing out a summary of outcomes that many may have
Brief summary: in 2013, the Wikimedia Foundation directed a Wikipedian in
Residence program at Harvard University; it was problematic in various ways.
When the problems surfaced the next year, Erik Möller and Sue Gardner (then
the top two executives at WMF) created a post mortem page on the Outreach
Wiki (now at Meta Wiki). They told the story from the WMF perspective,
updated it as their understanding evolved, and explicitly noted the lessons
learned. They also encouraged others to tell the story from their
Readers of this list might be aware of that much; but the next part
happened more recently, and more quietly. But it's an important part of
bringing the issue to a close. In July 2016, Katy Love responded to
questions about how the experience had impacted way the WMF's grant
programs approach Wikimedians in Residence. Her statement was pretty
detailed, and helps those working on WiR programs understand the WMF's
Since the issue was heavily discussed on this email list in the past, it
seems fitting to acknowledge what I see as a highly successful resolution
here. In particular, I'd like to acknowledge the diligence of Sue Gardner,
Erik Möller, Lisa Seitz Gruwell, Katy Love, Asaf Bartov, and Siko Bouterse
(all currently or formerly of the WMF) in working through the issues.
p.s. If you were watching this page on Outreach Wiki and want to follow any
future developments, you might want to add it to your watchlist on Meta
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