How to Turn Pop-Culture Fans into Political Activists
July 26, 2012
The Harry Potter Alliance was started by comedian Andrew Slack to inspire hundreds of thousands of Harry Potter fans to act as heroes in the real world. HPA practices what Slack calls "cultural acupuncture," that is, "finding where the psychological energy is in the culture, and moving that energy toward creating a healthier world." HPA has a staff of more than 60 volunteers, 85 chapters, and a network that reaches more than a million people. On that backbone, it has sent five cargo planes of aid to Haiti, donated tens of thousands of books, and contributed to a variety of political causes.
On this call, we'll talk with Slack about how activists can connect with fans of pop culture and move them toward political action. In particular, we'll look at how online participatory culture can be an ally of political movements.
Andrew Slack is creator, co-founder, and Movement Director of the Harry Potter Alliance. His work is focused on using the power of stories to unleash the civic imagination through a methodology he calls "cultural acupuncture." Andrew is an Ashoka fellow, a former fellow at the Nathan Cummings Foundation as a social justice innovator, and been named one of the GOOD 100.
He's written for the LA Times and CNN, spoken at TEDx Rome and TEDx Youth, done keynotes at the Illinois Holocaust Museum, the American Library Association's mid-winter festival, and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. This year he is chair of the Ignite Talks at MacArthur's Digital Media Learning Conference and co-chair of Digital Media Learning in Action. His work has been praised by JK Rowling in Time Magazine and he's been personally featured by Fast Company, Forbes, NPR, and the New Yorker.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University, Andrew started his career in comedy performing in comedy and producing videos that have been seen over 12 million times.
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