From the press office at the HPA:
The HPA is in the midst of expanding its model to go far beyond Harry Potter through a new organization called “Imagine Better.” Through Imagine Better the HPA is bringing together fan communities of blockbuster movies, books, television shows, YouTube celebrities, Twitterers and best-selling authors in an
unprecedented network that takes a grassroots approach to harnessing the energy of social media, popular culture, and modern mythology for social change.
In Imagine Better the theory of social change used is “cultural acupuncture.” As HPA Executive Director Andrew Slack writes in the Huﬃngton Post, “cultural acupuncture is !nding where the psychological energy is in the culture, and moving that energy towards creating a healthier world.” The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication has hailed the HPA’s work and approach as the premier model for civic engagement in the twenty-!rst century.
In the HPA’s model, the organization imagines people working to end global warming, racism, and genocide as energetically as they ﬂock to movies, television shows, and “self-help” books. Although many people care just as much about these issues as they do entertainment, activism and civic engagement do
not have a Stephen Spielberg or a Walt Disney to make them exciting and accessible. This disconnect between values and action stems from a lack of imagination on the part of social organizers.
Just as the HPA has authentically used the language of Harry Potter and respected each Harry Potter fan site and
Wizard Rock band’s autonomy, so too does Imagine Better respect the autonomy of each fan site and fandom with which it works. The idea is to serve as a welcoming space for sites to connect, promote each other, and
work within the canon of each fandom to draw parallels that can create positive social change.
After speaking glowingly about the HPA in Time Magazine and on her website, J.K. Rowling writes in a letter to Slack, “The HP Alliance is, without doubt, the purest expression of ‘the spirit of Albus Dumbledore’ yet to emerge
from the Harry Potter fandom.”
I got permission from my speech and debate coach to have a collection box at the registration table of my school’s upcoming tournament. However, I will need the details of the fundraiser (where the books are going), as soon as possible.
This is great! We are working on it!