College students document New Mexico through WikiForHumanRights Campaign for the first time

Students and instructor during one of the sessions/ CC-BY-SA-4.0

Students at the University of New Mexico were for the first time introduced to Wikimedia projects through the WikiForHumanRights 2022 campaign to contribute content related to the environment to the global online encyclopedia

Students numbering 38, participated in a 2-day Wikipedia session dubbed, #WikiForHumanRights New Mexico and were scored extra credit as part of a Spring Semester course.

It is widely known that the State of New Mexico is fraught with several environment challenges caused by industrial pollution and other harmful pollutants. This is further heightened by the recent spate of fires which has consumed several acres of lands in what is referred to as the annual wildfire season often caused by extreme drought and climate change.

Participants contributed content (articles and images) about New Mexico portraying the beautiful forested mountains and wildlife sceneries and at the same time, the environmental challenges currently present in the state.

“Editing Wikipedia offered me insight into how the site works and refuted preconceptions about Wikipedia,” says Yamil a participant.

“I now understand what it takes to be an editor for Wikipedia. I learned how Wikipedia’s content is created and negotiated by editing and examining existing pages,” she adds.

The project was the first time majority of the students learned about Wikipedia, its related projects and the ability to contribute content to educate readers.

A Tiktok dance video in which the students celebrated their first edit raked over 2K views on social media (Facebook and Tiktok combined).

The project was led by Pamela Ofori- Boateng, a long term Wikipedia editor and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at UNM together with Jesse Asiedu Akrofi, founder of Wiki Update podcast with the support of other volunteers.

Useful resources and further information about the project

Event dashboard here

Event podcast here

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