Why Cons Are Still My Safe Space — the Wizard Activist — The Harry Potter Alliance

Why Cons Are Still My Safe Space — the Wizard Activist

via Why Cons Are Still My Safe Space — the Wizard Activist — The Harry Potter Alliance

PDX HPA Meeting Minutes February 16, 2014, 11:00AM

Location: Multnomah County Library, Belmont


Attendance: 7

Brandie S.

Bas P.

Corinne M.

Jeff C.

Bart S.

Suzanne V.C

Lily V.C


Minutes: Brandie S.


Old Business:

Brief over view of progress on book drive. Discussed Justin Stanley of Uprise Books Project and Stephen as potential partners for the           project. Justin had planned to attend the meeting, but was unable to. Stephen of NWFLYA is proving difficult to contact currently. Brandie is attempting to set meetings with both people ASAP.


New/Continuing Business:

First order of business: Jeff read the press release for the Imagine Better project and we discussed its potential impact on our group


Second order of business: Discussion of next and future steps for the non-English language book drive.

Immediate Action:

Book recipients: Suzanne will contact ChildrensBookBank.org (Spanish is primary need)

Brandie will contact other HPA chapters in TX, AZ, NM a& SoCal to see if we                                                       could do an English for Spanish trade with them

Bas will contact Katie (work with children’s literacy programs)for other                                                             potential recipients.  Also will contact IRCO.

Flyer: Jeff will start work on a flyer for the project. Brandie will help.

NWFLYA: Brandie will try again to set up a meeting with Stephen, the organizer. Hoping to have                                               a table and book drop off at this event.

Facebook Group and Twitter account for the book drive: Brandie will set this up. Others will also                                                             be made admins of the pages. Volunteers?

PDX Browncoats tag alongs: Brandie will discuss the possibility of having a book collection at                                                      EDCC since she will be hanging out with them for the event. Will they allow us                                                to advertise on their social media?

Ongoing Action:

-Create a calendar of cons that we might have a presence at to collect books.

-Possibly purchase a PDX HPA stamp to mark the donated books with

-Brandie and Beka will meet to discuss progress and future plans


Future Action:

Book Mooch: another possible way to convert English language books to non-English. Corinne                                                             may be the point person on this.

-Potential community partnerships (responsibility to be assigned at a later date)

Jeff suggested the idea of creating an Imagine Better Panel for future cons and benefits

Meeting adjourned at 12:00pm

Introducing HPA’s newest initiative, Imagine Better

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.”

Meeting Minutes January 16, 2014

Meeting began at 6:00pm

Location: Multnomah County Library, Belmont 

Attendance: 4

Brandie S.
Bas P.
Corinne M.
Richard V.

Minutes: Brandie S.

Old Business:

Went over topics discussed in last meeting including the different possibilities for future  projects (see Fourth Order of business in 10/5/13 minutes).

New Business:

First order of business: Introduction of new members Corinne S. & Bas P., explanation of what the HPA is

Second order of business: Discussion of first project.

– Brandie presented the idea that the first project be a non-English language book drive. Explained that she has at least two contacts that can help with this, Adrienne L. who is a foreign language book donation expert and Stephen, who is putting on NWFLYA in March, 2014. All in attendance agreed that this would be a good first project. Potentially, project will end with a collection drive at the NWFLYA convention.

-Brandie will make appropriate connections

-Potential for a booth and/or panel at the conference. Corinne and Bas would both like to help if    schedules permit.

-Bas to contact friend, Katie, who is involved with children’s literature projects for the state of  Oregon and who may be able to help with our book drive.

Third order of business: Secondary project.

-Bas presented the idea of a Blood Wars Red Cross blood drive in the vein of the Star Wars vs Star Trek blood collection battle that took place around Xmas time. Maybe HP vs Twilight? Other fandoms?

-Brandie will contact the Red Cross to find out about setting this up. Potential date in April. (This looks like it is an annual event now http://pdxpipeline.com/2011/12/28/portland-new-years-eve-blood-drive/)

Fourth order of business: Recap of The Project for Awesome (P4A)

-Brandie explained the P4A and showed the John Green video announcing that the HPA will receive $50,000 of the $869,146 raised by the Nerdfighters.

Fifth order of business: Brandie’s Basic Rights Oregon birthday fundraiser

-Brandie invited those present (and those not present!) to her birthday party on Feb 8th, which will also be a fundraiser for BRO to support marriage equality in the state of Oregon.

Sixth order of business: Set date for next meeting.

-Sunday, February 16th @ 11am at the Belmont library

Meeting adjourned at 7:00pm

Minutes from Meeting October 5, 2013

Thank you again to everyone who came and everyone who made snacks! And special thanks to Jeff Chatterton who has agreed to be our new Chapter Secretary!

This meeting, we focused on defining who we are and throwing out ideas for campaigns and projects. You can read through some of our campaign ideas below. If you couldn’t make it, we would still love to hear your own ideas and passions – be sure to share them on our facebook page or email us!


First PDX HPA meeting – October 5th, 2013, 12:30pm

Location: Multnomah County Library in Belmont

Attendance: 10

Suzanne V. C.
Lily V. C.
Britney L.
Krissie S.
Niels T.
Rob T.
Jeff C.
Brandie S.
Bart S.
Beka G.

Minutes: Jeff C.

Old business: None – first meeting

First order of business: introductions, ice breaker question (Favorite Magical Beast?), and list of fandoms people love.

Second order of business: Introduction to what the HPA is, its origins, and its current projects.

Third order of business: Our goal is to do good works for the community in politics and charity.

Fourth order of business: New ideas for possible projects!
– Christmas store for domestic violence shelter needs culturally specific and non-English books. – Krissie
– Health related projects, immunizations, medicines – Britney
– Staged readings for kids in schools, using the fandoms as the catalyst for talking about real world – Bart
– Talking about bullying using fandom examples. Get involved with community clothing exchange.  – Suzanne
– Northwest Power and Conservation, presentations about climate change – Suzanne
– Basic Rights Oregon signature drive for marriage equality. – Beka

Another meeting in November – announcement to come via Facebook & email.
Saturday before Halloween – Corn Maze trip to Sauvie Island. Facebook invite and email will go out.

End of meeting: 1:35pm

The HPA in the News

The HPA is a real life Dumbledore’s Army, bringing the fight to important causes. Read about us in The Nation about HPAs continuing efforts to ensure that the chocolate used for the chocolate frogs sold in Harry’s name are not made by child slave labor.