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Amplifying Black and Diverse Histories the Focus of New Wikimedia Foundation Collaboration with Global Artist

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Ghanaian artist, Enam Bosokah, will create the first cohort of art works representing historical figures from Ghana and Seneg

The Wikimedia Foundation, the global nonprofit that operates Wikipedia, announced the launch of Wiki Unseen, a collaboration with artists aimed at expanding the visual representation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in Wikimedia projects and advancing knowledge equity.

Launched today, the first iteration of the project, a collaboration with artists from Africa, North America, and the Caribbean, will help to address the visual and written underrepresentation of several Black historical figures on Wikipedia and in media repository Wikimedia Commons. In addition to global artists, the Foundation is collaborating with AfroCROWD.org, a Wikipedia-volunteer led initiative to create and improve information about Black culture and history on Wikipedia, as well as Bēhance, a social media platform that showcases creative work on the initiative.

Research shows that Wikipedia articles featuring illustrations increase audience engagement and views, creating an additional point of entry for visual learners and expanding understanding of the information presented. With this in mind, the Wikimedia Foundation and AfroCROWD.org worked together to select 20 Wikipedia articles of BIPOC historical figures without visual representation, further collaborating with Bēhance to source a list of artists from the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean to create portraits of each. This year, the artists will create portraits for six of 20 total historical figures.

The commissioned artists include Enam Bosokah from Ghana, Esther Griffith from Trinidad, and Bukhtawar Malikfrom the United States. Among the first articles that will feature new illustrations are: Marian Ewurama Addy, William Greaves, Rose Dieng-Kuntz, May Miller, Mercedes Richards, and Asquith Xavier. These portraits will be published throughout the month of February; they include personalities whose images are not freely licensed and therefore unable to be added to Wikipedia articles.

“Wiki Unseen aims to make Black histories and those of other people underrepresented on Wikipedia more visible,” said Anusha Alikhan, Vice President of Communications at the Wikimedia Foundation. “Closing knowledge equity gaps — including visual ones — is key to ensuring Wikimedia projects are accessible to everyone and represent the breadth of the world’s cultures, experiences, and languages. We know that our work is incomplete until the diversity of our world’s histories are seen.”

When BIPOC histories are told, too often they lack visual representation. Of the 30+ articles in the African Royaltycategory on English Wikipedia, for example, only three pages picture their subjects. Visual aids and illustrations help people understand and retain information; their absence reinforces and perpetuates biases.
“Participating in this project is part of what I have been wanting to do as an artist in Africa. Black Africans have been excluded from history and knowing that I can contribute towards making this wrong right is an honor. Wiki Unseen has presented me with an opportunity to make a difference at a larger scale,” said Enam Bosokah “I hope more African artists will take heed of this call and contribute to the free knowledge movement.”
Wikipedia is powered by a global community of volunteer contributors working to advance Wikimedia projects in support of a vision to ensure that people everywhere can share in the sum of all human knowledge. A central pillar of the Wikimedia Movement’s 2030 strategy is to break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge, focused on communities left out by structures of power and privilege.
Wiki Unseen builds on the previous efforts of Wikimedia volunteers including Les sans pagEs, a French Wikipedia initiative, and the #VisibleWikiWomen campaign by Whose Knowledge?, which ran similar projects to bridge gender gaps.

About the Wikimedia Foundation: The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge freely. We host Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive.

The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive donations from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

About AfroCROWD.org: Afro Free Culture Crowdsourcing Wikimedia (AfroCROWD) is an initiative which seeks to increase awareness and the number of people of African descent who actively partake in the Wikimedia and free knowledge, culture and software movements. AfroCROWD has sensitized thousands in its target audience about free culture crowdsourcing and the need to close the multicultural and gender gaps in Wikipedia. AfroCROWD has also held monthly multilingual editathons in partnership with cultural institutions, galleries, libraries, archives, museums (GLAM), colleges, universities and many others including institutions at the United Nations and grassroots organizations.

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BreakingNews: Foremost Traditional Ruler, Alaafin Of Oyo Joins Ancestors

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Foremost traditional ruler in Yoruba land, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has joined his ancestors.

Alaafin, a prominent monarch of the Yoruba race, who is also the permanent chairman Oyo State council of Obas joined the ancestors in the early hours of Saturday 23, April.

The 84 years old man was born to the family of Raji Adeniran Adeyemi the former Alaafin of Oyo who was deposed and exiled in 1954 for sympathizing with the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC).

As at the time of this report, there has not been an official report from the palace as touches his death.

Details later.

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Death: Eze Griefs over Chuka Mbamaluh Callys

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Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze has mourned the death of Mr. Chuka Callys Mbamaluh, a seasoned Journalist with a touch of professionalism.

In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, the APC chieftain said he received the news of Cally’s demise with a rude shock from which he is yet to recover given the strong tie that united them during his sojourn on earth.

“Oh! Cally, your death has left me devastated, prompting me to rethink the essence of life. I was tipped by the Holy Spirit to send some funds to you not knowing that you are in danger after which your wife called to inform me that you have been hospitalized. Since then, my family and I have been praying for you.

When I spoke with your wife in the morning of your departure to meet with our Lord, she gave me the impression that you were getting better that you could now partially recognize people and all of a sudden your sister whom you asked me to give some assistance called me later in the day to say that you are gone.” …what is this life, it’s even like a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away after a while…”

“I am very pained by your departure, particularly your promise to ensure that the launching of my recent book on Amaechi will receive a desired publicity and with your departure, I wonder who will fill your gap and wear the big shoe that you have left behind.” Who will give the type of titles you normally give to my statements that made me call you “The Old Soldier” now that you are gone? Death why this type of blow!

Describing Mr. Chuka Callys Mbamaluh as an extraordinary Journalist who has carved a niche for himself in the art of journalism, Eze said the deceased was unassuming and amiable personality who had in various ways encouraged and motivated him in the struggle to enthrone true democracy in Rivers State and Nigeria at large.

While I take solace in the word of God which states that “blessed are the dead who died in the Lord”, I return thanks to God that you are now resting peacefully in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“As we continue to mourn your departure, be encouraged that one day we will meet not to leave each other again.”

Rest Continually in Peace Callys.

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2023 PRESIDENCY: SANWO-OLU URGES APC LEADERS TO UNITE FOR TINUBU

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Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged leaders and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State to unite and work for the victory of the ruling party at the local, state and national levels, especially for the presidential aspiration of the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

He made the appeal while on a working visit to Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area and Oriade Local Council Development Area (LCDA) on Wednesday, during which he commissioned the Senator Oluremi Tinubu Primary Health Center in Festac town.

Governor Sanwo-Olu also implored APC members and Lagos residents, especially the people of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government and Oriade LCDA to participate in the ongoing registration of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) for them to exercise their civic responsibilities in the 2023 general elections.

He said: “We have a lot to be proud of in Lagos. We have a lot to make bragging right both at the state and also at the national level. We should see that sacrifice of our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will certainly not go in vain and that is why I am encouraging everyone that the journey we have started at ensuring that we have Asiwaju (Tinubu) representing us at the center is on the right course.

“As individuals and community, we all have a role to play. We all have a duty to ensure that the ongoing registration in INEC and the collection of your PVC is important because it is only when you do this that you can exercise your civic responsibility. I want to assure you that once you have that, nothing will stop us from achieving this agenda.

“I think it is also important at this point to admonish some of our leaders to close ranks and work for the victory of our party, APC and presidential aspiration of our leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. All the leaders in Amuwo-Odofin and Oriade should come together. We must put our house in order and unite without allowing anything to divide us. There are enough benefits if we work together. We are not aspiring to win Lagos alone; we are also working to go to Abuja. So, I want to appeal to all leaders to do all that is required for our party to be stronger. We should not speak with two voices.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who urged all traditional leaders to work with government at local and state levels for development in their communities, commended ethnic nationals for the unity, peace and progress that are being enshrined in the community and urged them to do more.

He said: “I want to urge all traditional leaders to work with the government at local and state levels. We should work together for development in our communities. I want to encourage all other ethnic nationals – the Ndigbo Community, South-South Community and Arewa Community. I want to thank all of you for the unity, peace and progress that is enshrined in this community but I want more.

“I want us to continue to live in tolerance, peace and harmony because it is only when we do this that more community development will come to this locality and community. So, I am going to extract that from you today, that whatever misgivings that you might have among yourselves, make sure we can resolve the issues and we can enshrine a more mutually beneficial rewarding relationship among all of us.”

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