Supporting underrepresented groups beyond and after the outreach event
We know from past experience in the Wikimedia movement that there are benefits to focussing outreach programs to certain demographics as opposed to keeping them open to the general public. A common example is women-only workshops and conferences aimed at increasing the number and participation of women in the Wikimedia movement. An event organised exclusively for an underrepresented group potentially allows for a safe space for the group to learn, ask questions which they would dither to ask in a more public setting, and voice their concerns. Outreach efforts are known to bear fruit only if they are sustained. Here are some ways in which the organising team can support underrepresented groups after the outreach event had ended and some of the initial enthusiasm among the participants has dissipated:
- Create a hub or list of resources they can use to continue learning, to pass on their knowledge to other individuals in their community, and to better apply their knowledge.
- Encourage willing participants to stay in touch after the event. (Note: Organisers and participants should be aware that private information, including contact information such as email addresses and phone numbers, should not be passed on without the explicit consent of its owner. Nor should anyone be made to share their private information against their will.)
- Some reliable sources [WP:RS] are not accessible due to paywalls. Encourage the group to find ways to access references relevant to their topics of editing. Give them practical and practicable tips about how to access and use such references.
- Discuss strategies and interventions that the members of the group could use in the case of Trust and Safety issues.
- Create a list of resources which the participants could use to access help related to editing/ contributing.
- If there is a technical wishlist, say, the underrepresented group needs a new tool to contribute efficiently in their script or language, then guide them through the process of filing a Phabricator request for it.
- Ensure that the team organising the event and conducting follow-up activities comprises of at least a few members who belong to the targeted demographic.