Today we’re pleased to present the first part in a series of resources about creating and sharing knowledge by and from marginalized communities online.
This collection of resources is written as a guide to support marginalized communities – including women, people of color, LGBTQI communities, indigenous peoples and others from the global South – in sharing their knowledge online. We hope to inspire the next generation of knowledge-makers to join in this work within their own communities. These resources are also intended to encourage allies who wish to help with this work. Whether you’re a member of a marginalized community, or an ally, these resources are here to assist you in centering knowledge from the margins.
The writers of these resources all have powerful perspectives, expertise, and embodied knowledge to share. We write as members of Native American communities of the Kumeyaay and Shoshone, Dalit feminist communities from India and the diaspora, LGBTIQA communities from Bosnia Herzegovina, and Whose Knowledge? allies. This collection will share some of our personal and community stories and knowledges, and also document what we’ve learned from producing and re-imagining online knowledge together over the past few years.
Part 1: Decolonizing Our Stories and Knowledges
Today’s resource is “Decolonizing Our Stories and Knowledges”, which gives some context about ourselves, our communities and work. Here we also discuss in more depth some of the structures of power we’re dismantling. In particular, the Queering, Unsettling and Debrahmanizing sections are meant to give background into some of the struggles we face while building more plural representations of the world’s knowledges online.
Check back later this month for the next set of resources from this collection:
- Part 2: Transformative Practices for Building Community Knowledges, a set of practices and tools for marginalized communities working on knowledge production
- Part 3: Adding Our Knowledge to Wikipedia, where we share what we’ve done and learned from work on the online encyclopedia
- Part 4: How to Ally and Be a Good Guest, with tips and suggestions specifically for allies
How we created these resources
In August 2018, Whose Knowledge? and partners traveled to the traditional territory of the Kumeyaay Nation in Southern California, United States to spend four days writing together on the campus of the University of San Diego. We came together as ten people from a few different communities, organizations, each traveling from the lands of different indigenous communities in Bosnia, Catalonia, India, and the United States:
- Az Causevic and Belma Steta from the Bosnian Herzegovinian LGBTIQA organization Okvir
- Maari Zwick-Maitreyi and Sanghapali Aruna from the Dalit feminist organizations EqualityLabs and Project Mukti respectively
- Michael Connolly Miskwish (Kumeyaay Community College) and Persephone Lewis (University of San Diego) from the Native American communities of the Kumeyaay and Shoshone
- Jake Orlowitz from the Wikimedia movement
- Siko Bouterse and Anasuya Sengupta from Whose Knowledge?
Thanks also to Laia Ros, who facilitated the Book Sprint methodology which helped bring our embodied knowledge to the page, Shuttleworth Foundation for funding the sprint to produce these resources, and the office of the tribal liaison at University of San Diego, for hosting our writing group.
We hope you enjoy Part 1: Decolonizing Our Stories and Knowledges, and look out for Parts 2, 3, and 4 coming soon!