Humanities & Social Justice Advisory Committee members announced

Wiki Education is proud to welcome the seven members of the inaugural Humanities & Social Justice Advisory Committee, bringing together faculty from higher education institutions across the country. The group will advise and support our Wikipedia Student Program’s Knowledge Equity initiative in partnership with the Mellon Foundation.

“Wiki Education does such phenomenally important work that I always pounce on every opportunity to work with them,” said Shira Klein, associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Chapman University. “Wikipedia’s articles about history and religion have real-life impact on the world. What people read on Wikipedia shapes the opinions they form about politics, social justice, and so forth. Therefore we need to make sure Wikipedia gets it right, and this project is going to help that goal.”

All advisory committee members bring multidisciplinary experiences and professional networks to support Wiki Education’s goal to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of historically marginalized populations and subject areas. Committee members will also provide valuable feedback on the Wikipedia Student Program framework and curricular materials; each has incorporated the “Wikipedia assignment” into their own courses.

Heather J. Sharkey, professor and chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, “jumped at the chance” to join the advisory committee, noting her rewarding experience writing for Wikipedia and working with the Wikipedia Student Program.

“Wiki Education offers user-friendly tutorials that guide students (and their teachers!) through the nuts-and-bolts of writing for Wikipedia ethically and with rigor,” said Sharkey. “Students end up thinking about the content of articles and potential biases; the quality of sources, citations, and literary style; and the nature of “content gaps,” meaning topics that are missing, but that deserve to be covered, for the sake of social equity. Students learn, and the world benefits from their scholarship!”

Advisory committee members will engage in three areas of focus: outreach and recruitment, conference participation, and review of curricular materials. Activities will include facilitating a Teaching with Wikipedia workshop at their home institutions, presenting about the program and related research at humanities conferences, and reviewing new Wiki Education resources associated with the Knowledge Equity initiative.

Humanities & Social Justice Advisory Committee members:

David-James Gonzales

Dr. David-James (DJ) Gonzales is an Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University where he teaches and researches on race, migration, and Latino (a/x/e) politics in the US. He has been teaching with Wikipedia since 2018 and enjoys teaching students how to incorporate historical research methodology into public-facing writing projects like Wikipedia articles and op-eds as a way of using their education to “give back” to society. Collectively, his students have authored 180 articles, edited an additional 492 articles, and added approximately 8,500 references to Wikipedia. As of spring 2024, the work produced by his students on Wikipedia has garnered over 13 million views.

Shira Klein

Dr. Shira Klein is Associate Professor and Chair of History at Chapman University. Her two primary areas of expertise are Italian Jewish history and knowledge production on Wikipedia. She is co-author of “Wikipedia’s Intentional Warping of Polish-Jewish History” in the peer-reviewed Journal of Holocaust Research. Published in February 2023, this article has been viewed over 52,000 times and reported on in newspapers worldwide, including Slate Magazine, Der Spiegel (Germany), and Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland). Altmetric has ranked this article’s online visibility in the top 5 percent of 25 million research outputs, and it is under contract to be translated into Polish and Hebrew. Klein’s book Italy’s Jews from Emancipation to Fascism (Cambridge University Press) was awarded finalist for the 2018 National Jewish Book Award, and is now under contract to be translated into Hebrew. Klein has received multiple grants, including from the National Foundation for the Humanities, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Research, the USC Shoah Foundation, and the Barbieri Foundation for Modern Italian History.

Alexandria Lockett

Dr. Lockett has been editing Wikipedia for 20+ years to improve its content about marginalized persons, cultures, communities, languages, professions, texts, and disciplines. A former professor of Writing and Rhetoric for almost 20 years, she integrated Wikipedia editing into over twenty courses, as well as trained dozens of faculty how to do the same. She has presented her research about Wikipedia across several platforms including WikiCon North America, Black Lunch Table and AfroCrowd events, and publications such as Wikipedia@20: An Incomplete Revolution (MIT Press, 2020). Dr. Lockett has also organized and led several workshops and edit-a-thons in HBCU spaces. She is currently an Independent Scholar and the Director of Lateral Recruiting for a global, woman-owned legal search firm.

Tracy Perkins 

Dr. Tracy Perkins is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Transformation Arizona State University who specializes in social inequality, social movements, and the environment. She began teaching students at Howard University to analyze the politics of knowledge creation and circulation via Wikipedia assignments in 2017, and has been teaching the assignment at ASU since 2020. She and three Howard students co-authored a paper on their experience that was published in Civic Sociology in 2024. See more of her work at

David Sartorius 

Dr. David Sartorius is a historian of Latin America and the Caribbean at the University of Maryland. His book, Ever Faithful: Race, Loyalty, and the Ends of Empire in Spanish Cuba, was published by Duke University Press in 2013, and examines the racial politics of colonial rule, including the support of Cubans of African descent, slave and free, for the Spanish government. Sartorius is currently the co-editor of Social Text, an assistant editor of The Americas, and a member of the organizing collective of Tepoztlán Institute for the Transnational History of the Americas.

Heather J. Sharkey

Dr. Heather J. Sharkey is a Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in the history of the modern Middle East and North Africa.  A firm believer in digital citizenship and public scholarship, she has been partnering with Wiki Education and its Student Program since 2019.  Working in teams, her students have published many new Middle East-related articles on Wikipedia – especially biographies of women and studies of historic buildings. Her students have also added many images to Wikimedia Commons while generating public copyright licenses.  At conferences ranging from the Creative Commons Global Summit to Wikimania, Sharkey has spoken about the educational value of involving students in producing high-quality content for Wikipedia.

Delia Steverson

Delia Steverson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Alabama, where she specializes in 19th and 20th Century African American Literature, Critical Disability Studies, and Southern Literature. She has been teaching with Wikipedia since 2019 in both lower and upper division undergraduate courses including Survey of African American Literature, Gender and Sexualities in African American Literature, and 21st Century Black Southern Literature. Delia has written about her experience with the Wikipedia project for Wiki Education in an article entitled “Building my Wikipedia confidence.” Her contributions seek to improve the presence of lesser known African American authors, texts, and histories.


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