Our 2021 AGM and Community Day

By Katie Crampton, Communications and Governance Coordinator

We had a wonderful Annual General Meeting and Community Day on Saturday, and we’d like to thank all of our members, volunteers, trustees, staff and supporters who attended and made the day so special. Thanks to a large number of our members using their votes for our board elections we’re pleased to say we were quorate.

We had an excellent keynote from George Oates in discussion with Nick Poole, which you can catch in the full video of the event on our YouTube. We also heard from five superb lightning speakers; Lorna Campbell on the representation of HIV/AIDS activism on Wikipedia, Jason Evans on the Places of Wales, Dr Martin Poulter and Waqas Ahmed on their visual arts bias research, Dr. Kirsty Ross on the IDEA Network at the University of St Andrews, and Cas Libre on the Core Contest.

Collage by Katie Crampton (WMUK) CC BY-SA 4.0.

Elections

We voted in three trustees, welcoming two new candidates Julian Akodoye Manieson, and Caroline Ball, and re-electing Rod Ward, with huge thanks to all six candidates who put themselves forward for the board this year. We’re excited to welcome new skills onto the board, and retain such a valuable board member in Rod. We also passed all proposed resolutions, allowing the charity to keep running smoothly for the next year.

At the meeting, Nick Poole also announced that following his departure from the board at the end of the meeting, which marked six years since he was elected as a trustee, Lorna Campbell would be stepping in as Interim Chair until October. Nick welcomed our new co-opted trustee and Chair Elect, Monisha Shah. We’d like to thank Nick Poole and Doug Taylor for their outstanding contributions to the board, both as advocates for the chapter and in their unique skills they freely offer to the staff team.

Awards

UK Wikimedian of the Year

Marco Cafolla won the award for their efforts supporting the Scots Wikipedia. They have been a key part of the wiki, organising editathons which not only improved content but fostered a community of editors working together. Having people within a community who can step up and organise is invaluable, and those efforts mean that Scots Wikipedia is improving ever

Honourable Mention goes to Ian Watt who is a tremendously active volunteer and advocate for open knowledge, working with Commons, Wikidata, and Wikipedia. Over the last year he has run public-facing workshops and editathons, and he is hosting and supervising an Edinburgh University post-grad student running a mass transcription of the Register of Returned Criminals (1869-1939).

Up-and-Coming Wikimedian of the Year

Awarded jointly to Abd Alsattar Ardati and Lucy Moore. Abd is one of Wikimedia UK’s accredited trainers and has been proactive in helping his university engage with Wikimedia; his efforts have helped WMUK adapted to the methodology of online training. Lucy is another excellent advocate for Wikimedia – she has organised events at her place of work and encourages people in the museum and archaeology sectors to work with Wikimedia; she is also an active editor and writes articles addressing Wikipedia’s content imbalances.

Partnership of the Year

London College of Communication won the award for the Decolonising Wikipedia Network was set up in 2020 involving students and staff to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of under-represented topics. The Student Changemakers (who had a prominent role in leading the decolonisation efforts) were powerful advocates for the project and presented to staff and fellow students. The successful project will expand over the next academic year to include the whole of University of Arts, London, of which LCC is a part.

Honourable Mention goes to the Scotland, Slavery and Black History project at the University of Edinburgh. History students were invited to improve public knowledge of Scotland’s Black history, and to help make Scotland’s deep connections to Atlantic slavery better understood. They have provided videos on their reflections on this work to local Edinburgh secondary schools who are also interested in Dundas and improving black history on Wikipedia.

Honorary members

We’re pleased to award honorary membership, which waives the requirement to pay an annual membership fee, to Rosie Chapman, Mike Peel and Martin Poulter. Honorary Members have the same rights and responsibilities as regards to the charity as any other member, and do not constitute a separate class of membership. The board reviews its recognition of all Honorary Members at least annually. The memberships were awarded by the Board of Trustees in recognition of the outstanding contributions to the chapter; Rosie for her support in governance for the last six years, Mike for his valuable contributions during the early days of the chapter, and Martin for being an outstanding advocate and contributor in his work as Resident and beyond.

Thank you again to everyone who made Saturday so enjoyable, and welcome to our new trustees. If you’d like to become a member so you can vote in future AGMs and help shape the charity’s governance and strategy, please sign up here.

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