As part of the ongoing work in developing a Universal Code of Conduct for the Wikimedia movement, I sat down with volunteers and staff from across the movement to learn more about their hopes and thoughts regarding the UCoC. This is the fourth in a limited series of interviews that will be published here on Diff.
In this interview I spoke to Rachel Farrand who has been working at WMF since October 2011 and is currently responsible for funding and overseeing Thematic and Growth community events, but before that she was managing our Technical Events ecosystem and has organized 20 hackathons, been on the organizing team for 7 Wikimanias, and organized 50+ events total in her time at WMF.
Read in her own words, what she thinks about the Wikimedia movement in general, what she is working on currently and more:
Christel: Why do you contribute to the Wikimedia movement?
Rachel: I feel like the Wikimedia movement is the single more important movement (that I know of) in the entire world. I feel like I can directly have a positive impact on our mission to support free knowledge and I find huge satisfaction in thinking through ways to facilitate spaces and events for community members to accomplish their different goals. It is impossible to ever know or understand everything about our movement, but the more I learn and the more community I meet the more inspired I become.
Christel: Where are your efforts currently focused?
Rachel: Within the conference grants program and the community events team we are starting to rethink our entire approach to organizing and funding events. We are very seriously taking the results of the 2030 strategy process and working on adapting our work to become more inline with the new expectations set by the community strategy process. We are also spending a lot of time thinking about how to adapt to COVID19, continue event momentum during this time, and how we can adapt future events to benefit those that are not able to travel for any reason. Additionally, we are adding a new category of events (the Growth category) to the Regional and Thematic events that we fund through the conference grants program, more information on that coming soon on the Conference Grants meta page.
Christel: What is one thing you’ve done that you think others would find interesting?
Rachel: Related to the safe space efforts – I have spent a lot of time over the last years partnering with the Code of Conduct for Wikimedia technical space committee at our in person technical events which I was managing. We were able to create supported functioning committees at all of our in person Technical events which were able to advocate for and enforce our Friendly Space Policy and Code of Conduct at those events. We significantly improved our presence, training, response, communication, and follow up year to year as this program grew.
In the video below I spoke to Rachel about how she became aware of the UCoC, the impact she believes it will have on events within the Wikimedia movement, and what changes she expects the UCoC will have on a broader scale.