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 the Civic Imagination Fellow at Civic Hall, and also an Ashoka Fellow. He is a practitioner of cultural acupuncture and the founder of Imagine Better, where he has directed campaigns around Star Wars and money in politics, Back to the Future and imagination, Superman and immigration, the Hunger Games and economic inequality, and begun to remix holidays with projects like #TeachMeYouDid and assisting in Esther Day.
He started his work on Imagine Better in creating the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) where he served as Executive Director, Movement Director, and Board of Directors president for 10 years. While at the HPA, he helped direct campaigns that have sent five cargo planes to Haiti, allowed all Harry Potter chocolate to be either Utz or Fair Trade certified, and started a chapters program that now boasts close to 300 chapters in over 30 countries on six continents.
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