RIP Kevin Gorman, unsung advocate for women in philosophy

A guest post from Alex Madva:
We are saddened to report the death of Kevin Gorman, a passionate advocate for gender equality, who was responsible for posting and editing dozens of Wikipedia pages about women philosophers.
Kevin, a graduate from UC Berkeley, was 24.  He suffered from several rare conditions, but his death still comes as quite a shock.  A Facebook page devoted to his memory can be found here.
Kevin had for a long time been deeply involved in the Wikipedia community.  He first became engaged by feminism after he substantially edited Wikipedia’s “Men’s Rights” page and received intense criticism, and even threats, from members of the men’s rights movement (more on these events can be found here).  This led Kevin to attend the first class of Alex Madva’s feminist philosophy course, and ultimately led Kevin to play an integral role in identifying and redressing the underrepresentation of feminist philosophy and women philosophers on Wikipedia.  Kevin worked closely with the APA CSW to create and substantially edit many pages on women philosophers.  A partial list can be found here.  This page also includes a partial list of notable women philosophers who still need Wikipedia pages, which makes salient how much work there is still to be done.  Kevin was a leader of the “Gender Gap Task Force,” which sought to address gender bias in Wikipedia more broadly.
Kevin was also deeply committed to integrating Wikipedia and education.  He served as the Wikipedian-in-Residence at Berkeley, where he worked with instructors and mentored students who published their academic projects directly on Wikipedia.  More about the Wiki Education Foundation, a central aim of which is to diversify Wikipedia’s content and contributors, can be found here.

9 thoughts on “RIP Kevin Gorman, unsung advocate for women in philosophy

  1. I am so sorry to hear about this. I was surprised and appreciative when Kevin did a wikipedia entry on me.

  2. Ah, what sad news. What a good and hard-working man Kevin Gorman was, on behalf of so many.

  3. It seems to me that to honor Kevin’s legacy, we might create a Women Philosophers Wiki Task Force, one that would continue his hard work of adding women philosophers to Wikipedia one by one.

    I was aware of Kevin’s work, he helped me with some pages in fact, and I am saddened by his loss.

  4. Thank you for writing this. My name is Sierra Dullea and I was a close friend of Kevin’s for a number of years. I am organizing his memorial. If anyone would like to donate to support his memorial (excess funds will be donated to his preferred charities), you may do so here: If you would like to attend the event, you may find information on the memorial page linked to in the post. We will also likely be broadcasting the event online, details of that TBD.

  5. Thanks for writing – we’re so excited to see the outpouring of support and kudos to KGo, and wanted to add that I’ll be livestreaming his memorial via Periscope this Sunday for those of you who can’t make it. Please join us, we’d love to have you.
    Event page for his memorial; I’ll be posting the viewing link here on 8/21 (AM):

  6. […] An effort is underway to fill in some gaps in Wikipedia’s coverage of philosophy, particularly its coverage of “underrrepresented philosophers and philosophy.” As part of this year’s WikiConference North America, there will be an “editathon” during which Alex Madva (Cal Poly Pomona) will be coordinating the addition of information and entries in Wikipedia. The event is in honor of Kevin Gorman, who, before his recent death at the age of 24, had been “responsible for posting and editing dozens of Wikipedia pages about women philosophers.” […]

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