Designing outreach programs for ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples
Written by: Mary Beth Sanate
Edited and Reviewed by: Rohini Lakshané
[Editor's note: The author of this module refers to constituencies that have access to the Internet, however tenuous or unreliable, but not the digital literacy or capacity to use it for the purposes of knowledge production and consumption. These constituencies may access Wikipedia but they do not necessarily know that they can contribute to it or that there are economic, social and political benefits to contributing to their own representation on the Internet. Language may pose another barrier. Only those members of ethnic minority groups and indigenous communities who can read and understand a popular language such as English have access to the knowledge on Wikipedia. This module refers to outreach programs targeted at such groups and communities. However, their inclusion will not be feasible unless the groups that are relatively more privileged also undergo similar education.
Views in this learning module are the author's own. Nevertheless, the module has been heavily edited for clarity, context and readability. "Community Toolkit for Greater Diversity" lays great emphasis on the active participation and undiluted voice of the author of every module. In the case of "Designing outreach programs for ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples" we made the decision to substantively edit the module in favour of better context and readability. The published version has been approved by the author.]
Wikipedia aims to house the sum of all human knowledge but there are still ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples that are underrepresented or unrepresented on Wikipedia. To bridge this gap, it is essential to create awareness [about their lack of representation] and to create opportunities and avenues for their participation in the Wikimedia movement. To begin with, one should make them understand the advantages and benefits that Wikipedia [in particular] and the Internet [in general] offer. Once they are convinced of the importance and need for making use of the Internet, they will be motivated to contribute to Wikipedia. In turn, Wikipedia will benefit from their participation.next: Objectives of the outreach program