The Power of Fandoms For Social Good
I’ll admit it. I’m a fan. I not only watch The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, but I read the recaps and lurk on the boards after each episode. I read all the Harry Potter books (more than once) and have seen all the movies (more than once).
When I worked at Inspire USA Foundation, the organization behind the teen mental health site ReachOut.com, we partnered with an organization called The Harry Potter Alliance, which describes itself as “an army of fans, activists, nerdfighters, teenagers, wizards and muggles dedicated to fighting for social justice with the greatest weapon we have—love.” They were running a campaign using the “Horcruxes” from the Harry Potter books as metaphors for issues. We partnered on the issue of fighting depression and asked fans to submit their “patronuses” with the world through art.
If you are a fan or know a fan, you know that fans are passionate. Combine that passion with a cause, and you have a whole new sort of activism.
The Ad Council suggests partnering with fan-driven organizations like The Harry Potter Alliance, Nerdfighters, Whedonites, and The Box Scene Project.
The Ad Council produces, distributes and promotes public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well being and strengthening families. These messages include iconic campaigns: “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste,” “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk,” and “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.”
- Lionsgate wants small time activists to stop using the phrase "Hunger is not a game" in their latest campaign to end hunger: http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2012/03/23/450357/exclusive-as-the-hunger-games-opens-big-lionsgate-tries-to-shut-down-anti-hunger-advocates/?mobile=nc
- Andrew Slack: Hi, we're the HPA. We rally nerds from all over the world to do things like donate tens of thousands of books during an annual book drive, or send petitions to Warner Brothers asking them to engage in ethical sourcing practices, or hold a fundraiser to send $125,000 worth of relief to a place struck by natural disaster. Now we want to end hunger.
- Lionsgate: Hi. We're Lionsgate. We just released what may be the year's biggest blockbuster film. We want to end hunger and they're wrecking our marketing with their desire to end hunger with another organization.
- Judge: Why are you in my court?
If you live in Arizona, please know/remember that there is a Harry Potter Alliance meeting at Burton Barr library (the downtown Phoenix library) on the second floor TODAY at 4:15! You can come no matter what even if you hadn’t heard about this/the HPA until right this second it will be fun and awesome.
If you live in Arizona- we have a Harry Potter Alliance chapter!
The next Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix Arizona - HPA Chapter event is MORE LOVE LETTERS at WILDFLOWER BAKERY right next to Changing Hands bookstore this SATURDAY at 6 PM, right after Yallapalooza!
You should come because it will be awesome and a good way to meet people and do cool things to make the world a better place.
You should also come to Yallapalooza that same day because that will be good fun too.