We are all equal, but live in different worlds. For People of Color, everyday experiences in public, the digital space and in contact with institutions such as schools, the police and the health care system are fundamentally different. These experiences are often characterized by a lack of respect, negative attributions, fear and humiliation.
Racism causes incurable hurt and divides our community. It is also deeply rooted in the foundations of our society. Discrimination and racism exist in all organizations where people come together and thus Wikipedia and its sister projects are not excluded from this. We must therefore constantly ask ourselves how we can counteract prejudice and make the Wikimedia projects safe spaces, facilitating free information exchange for everyone.
The vision of Wikimedia is a world where every single person can participate in global knowledge. It is our goal to strengthen the freedom and dignity of each individual through sharing knowledge. Part of this freedom is a fundamental and universal right to information and education. We are committed to ensuring that knowledge is shared with more people and that more voices are heard.
A global movement for Free Knowledge and equality
We have a long way to go, which is why we must take action immediately. Wikimedia Germany supports Wikimedia Foundation’s Call for Justice and the steps it has listed to increase support for Black people in the United States and around the world.
A look at Wikipedia also gives me hope. Here, volunteers around the world collect resources on the historical background and current events surrounding the protests. For many years, the volunteers have also been documenting the Black Lives Matter movement in encyclopedic articles. The English-language article on the movement is a comprehensive collection of knowledge, explaining the background and developments. The German-language Wikipedia also has such an article, which enables all those interested in the subject to obtain comprehensive information.
To represent and share the world’s knowledge, Wikipedia must be open and secure for all people. Together with the international community, we have defined our Strategy 2030 and developed explicit standards for inclusive structures and communication.
Wikimedia Germany stands clearly behind the international Wikimedia Foundation and its support of Black Lives Matter. We cannot close our eyes and hearts, because we are part of a global movement for Free Knowledge. Some of us are directly affected – or we have friends, family members, or colleagues who are. None of us are free as long as our friends and neighbors fear for their safety. Therefore, the fight for justice for the Black Community in Germany, the USA and worldwide concerns all of us.