“The Weapon We Have Is Love”
Inspired by the messages of love and justice that drive the Harry Potter series, the Harry Potter Alliance was founded with the aim of utilizing fan passion to inspire and affect social change. Since its birth, the Harry Potter Alliance has inspired hundreds of thousands of Harry Potter fans to become heroes of the Muggle world.
To date, the Harry Potter Alliance has donated over 88,000 books around the world, sent ﬁve cargo planes to Haiti, and made significant contributions to the anti-genocide, LGBTQ equality, environmental, and media reform movements. They achieved their goal in making sure that all chocolate sold by Warner Bros. for merchandising purposes doesn’t use child slavery.
They are the Muggle world’s real-life Dumbledore’s Army!
Whether you wish to participate remotely or get involved on the ground at your local HPA Chapter, there are plenty of opportunities for you to contribute to the Harry Potter Alliance’s work.
The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) is a 501c3 nonprofit that has been taking an outside-of-the-box approach since 2005 to civic engagement by using parallels from the Harry Potter books to educate and mobilize young people across the world toward issues of literacy, equality, and human rights. The mission of the HPA is to empower our members to act like the heroes that they love by acting for a better world. By bringing together fans of blockbuster books, TV shows, movies, and YouTube celebrities, the power of popular culture has been harnessed and is being used to help make the world a better place. The goal of the HPA is to make civic engagement exciting by channeling the entertainment-saturated facets of our culture toward mobilization for deep and lasting social change.
The HPA strategy includes:
- Utilizing elements of many favorite fictional universes as metaphors for making sense of complex, contemporary issues.
- Inspiring all members to take action in their local communities and all across the planet, using the power of their creativity, intelligence, and compassion to change the world.
- Creating a worldwide network of enthusiastic fan activists who are connected via the internet and social media as well as local, community-based chapters.
- Harnessing the media cycle to bring attention and action to issues of equality, human rights, and literacy.
- Bringing a diverse range of inspiration and imagination to the front lines of social change by forging partnerships between multiple fan communities.
We do not need magic to change the world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” – J.K. Rowling
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I am honored and humbled that Harry’s name has been given to such an extraordinary campaign, which really does exemplify the values for which Dumbledore’s Army fought in the books.”– J.K. Rowling
Accio Books! is the Harry Potter Alliance’s annual book drive. The Accio Books campaign by the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) has donated nearly 350,000 books to underprivileged or underserved readers and communities in need with its annual book drive.
The success of each year’s drive is summarized from the HPA website below.
Fan Works Are Fair Use
The HPA has recently joined the community of supporters for the “Fan Works Are Fair Use” Campaign. As of now, the US Congress is in the process of reviewing the Copyright Law and modernizing the US Copyright Office, which means revisions could be made to the laws that make our beautiful fan created works possible. Fan Works Are Fair Use is a group of fan creators dedicated to protecting our right to fair use. This campaign is in the process of rallying members of every fandom to join their cause. Campaign leaders have the job of educating members about the beauty of fan created works and working to exterminate the negative stigmas about fan creations. Be sure to tell us what fan created works taught you by hashtagging your stories to #fanworkstaughtme!
Why does this matter in terms of the fandom?
Fanworks come naturally in every fandom out there. Whether it be fan fiction, fan art, parodies, or anything else, our fans’ beautiful creations are cherished by all. Currently, fan created works are pretty safe under the US Copyright laws, but if the US Congress decides to make revisions, our fandoms could be in MAJOR trouble.
Have you been obsessively checking for updates on that killer fan fic? Do you enjoy jamming out to your wrock playlist? Do you believe in the power of fan-created works? Want to join the movement? Click here.
In the Harry Potter Alliance’s first decade, we’ve been lucky enough to see all of this up close. From long-forgotten forums to hallowed convention halls, the spaces we share have been home to immeasurable creativity, enthusiasm, and love.
But – as with all things – our community has faced its share of obstacles.
We believe that – as our namesake once put it – we have something worth fighting for. We want our community and all others like it to be safe, constructive, positive spaces, and we think our vision is possible. Getting there will take hard work, commitment, and constant introspection, but we’re up to the task and know you are, too.
This is why the Positive Fandom Guidelines were created. We hope that you will support and follow these guidelines everyday.
Positive Fandom Guidelines:
1. I will be kind.
2. I will remember there are many ways to be a fan.
Fandom is home to endless perspectives on and interpretations of a common material. When I disagree with a particular interpretation, I will do so respectfully and with the intention to discuss, not to win. Unironic enthusiasm means different things to different people; I will not tease or judge another fan for being too passionate about their fandom. If someone is different from me, I will celebrate their place in our community.
3. I will make our community a welcoming space.
I will do my best to make sure everyone feels invited and included, both online and in person. I will remember what it was like when I was a new fan and will do my best to help new fans find their way. Safe spaces require constant vigilance. I will respect other people’s boundaries. I will practice and encourage conscious, positive behavior and speak out against malice, negativity, and abuse. I will prioritize the comfort of victims and the community over that of abusers.
4. I will imagine people complexly.
I will remember that everyone I meet is a human being as susceptible to misunderstandings and errors as I am. I will remember that I do not always have the full story or know what a person is thinking and that others do not know the same about me. I will remember that this is true even for the most visible members of a community and that idolization and demonization are both forms of dehumanization. I will be conscious of my influence – whether it comes from age, experience, or following – and how it impacts my interactions with others. I will remember that groups are made up of unique individuals.
5. I will respect and celebrate diversity.
Because I know that diversity makes our community stronger, I will be conscious of my own privilege and how my words and actions impact others. I will respect others’ unique lived experiences and work to amplify their voices instead of speaking over them. I will remember my experiences are not universal and many different perspectives can be valid at once.
6. I will learn.
There is always room to grow, so I will be a lifelong learner and be open to new information, ideas, and experiences. As I am learning, I will remember that none of us [is] perfect – it’s okay to make mistakes. When I do make a mistake, I will remember that apologies are healthy, not something to be ashamed of. It is important that my apologies be sincere and mark personal growth.
7. I will teach.
To work toward a world where everyone can grow, I will share my knowledge and insight when I am able. When I see others make mistakes, I will remember that teaching with kindness is the best way to help them learn.
8. I will give others the opportunity to grow.
We are all learning and unlearning at different paces, and not everybody has access to the same resources at the same time. Before writing others off, I will remember that it took time and forgiveness to get to where I am today and I am not at the end of my journey. I will acknowledge that people are always growing, and views they have expressed in the past might not represent their current views.
9. I will practice self-care.
I will remember that caring for myself is as important as caring for others. I understand that it is acceptable to remove myself from situations that make me feel uncomfortable, unhealthy, or unsafe, and I will respect when others do the same. I will remember that it is okay to reach out for help when needed.
10. I will remember to be awesome.
If you would like to sign the Positive Fandom Pledge and help take one more step toward a positive fandom, then click here.
Fandom Forward helps you bring fan activism to your favorite fandoms with free toolkits and activities to use in your chapters, with your friends, in your classrooms, or at your libraries. For more information, visit Fandom Forward.
Friends of the Apparating Library
In recent years, the HPA has gone beyond the book drive and partnered with the American Library Association to advocate for public library funding, net neutrality, and information access. In order to support this ambitious endeavor, the HPA created a new magical donor society, the Friends of the Apparating Library. Visit Friends of the Apparating Library for more information.
Not in Harry’s Name
After several years of effort, Warner Bros. has committed to making all Harry Potter-branded chocolate 100% fair trade or UTZ certified. The major shift to the use of ethical cocoa sourcing was made by the end of 2015. Over the previous four years, over 4,000 signatures were gathered by a variety of dedicated HPA chapters, members, and volunteers. This is considered a major victory for the fandom, unlike any other.
Neville Fights Back
In 2016, the Harry Potter Alliance joined the fight against the FCC and the decision to end net neutrality with the Neville Fights Back campaign.
US Quidditch Cup 9
During 2016, the HPA brought its book drive to US Quidditch Cup 9.
As reported on MuggleNet in April 2016, the HPA had a booth set up in the vendor village at the US Quidditch Cup, which took place April 16–17 in Columbia, South Carolina. The booth was open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Attendees were encouraged to bring their favorite novels, textbooks, or picture books to donate, as well as new school supplies.
All donations at this book drive were given to Good Shepherd School in Masaka, Uganda. Masaka is home to one of the HPA chapters, one of over 200 in nearly two dozen countries. Thanks to the generous donations from Accio Books! and Books for Africa, a new library was constructed at Good Shepherd School.
Accio Books! 2015
This year’s Accio Books! drive was larger than ever. Once again breaking the record, 64,909 books were donated by the amazing members and chapters of the HPA. They also brought their A-game to the Tri-Library Tournament, donating over 17,000 books to Operation Breakthrough in the USA and Borderline Books in the UK and the Netherlands.
Fans also spread the power of story to the halls of the US Congress by advocating for libraries on National Library Legislative Day. Another campaign, Tales of Chapters, was also launched this year. It encouraged chapter members to share popular stories that influenced their worldview as young people.
Ravenclaw won the House Cup with 230,950 points! Can another House dethrone the Ravenclaws, ending their 3-year streak?
The Harry Potter Alliance is kicking off its tenth year of fighting worldsuck with its Tenth Anniversary Fundraiser. In order to keep this great website going, the HPA needs YOU to spread the word! The HPA is requesting that you join the Society for the Promotion of Equality Winning (SPEW) by signing up for its regular assignment updates via email on how to help reach this year’s campaign goal. You can also score the points that you have earned here. The SPEW member who earns the most points will also win a $100 gift card to the HPA merch store. It’s never too late to join the campaign!
First Task: September 28, 2015
1) Tell your #HPA10 story
The best way to campaign is to share what is in your heart. Is there something that you just absolutely love about the HPA? Whatever you love, share it with the people […] you love! Tell them why they should donate to HPA10! Be sure to use your unique referral link on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and everywhere else you wish.
2) Change your avatars
A great way to campaign is to change your avatar to the HPA10 anniversary campaign photo and let others know why you changed it!
Second Task: September 30, 2015
1) Continue changing your avatars and using your referral code! Use #HPA10 as a signal boost.
Third Task: October 5, 2015
1) Create a YouTube video sharing the HPA10 campaign and the mission of the HPA. Be sure to include your unique referral code and #HPA10!
Fourth Task: October 6, 2015
1) Send your personal referral link to at least ten of your contacts.
Fifth Task: October 8, 2015
1) Tell us why Harry Potter is your hero! Be sure to continue using #HPA10.
Accio Books! 2014
In 2014, all previous Accio Books! records were broken with 53,009 books donated. Of that, 43,614 books were brought in by various HPA chapters. On September 13, 2014, the first-ever Apparating Library book giveaway was held at the Brightmoor Community Center in Detroit, Michigan, where thousands of books were given away to children and families in need. The event bolstered the Apparating Library’s growing reputation, and it has now become known as the most magical library in history.
Ravenclaws once again dominated the competition, raising the stakes for the other Houses. Which House will reign supreme next year?
Odds in Our Favor
In 2014, thousands of fans joined the “Odds in Our Favor” campaign by sharing their real-life stories of economic inequality by using #MyHungerGames. Over 12,000 participated, giving fans a real-life perspective on Mockingjay, Part 1.
In 2015, the organization brought back this campaign, and it’s better than ever. Share your FULL story using #MyHungerGames, your struggle with inequality, and how you’re fighting back. Whether you are passionate about mental health, racism, prison reform, or something else, the HPA has many actions to help you dive in, make a difference, and join the revolution.
Visit OddsinOurFavor.org to take action.
Ready to join the revolution and bring more people to the cause? Join District 13 and help recruit more rebels!
2013 (LeakyCon Edition)
In 2013, at the Portland LeakyCon, the HPA elevated the Accio Books! game… attendees from all over gave up precious packing space and carted 727 books to LeakyCon to donate to Books for Kids, an awesome Portland-based literacy program.
Read Indeed is a non-profit literacy organization with a very special mission: to achieve the vision of seventh grader Maria Keller, who wants to collect and distribute one million books to needy kids by the time she’s 18. This year, the HPA partnered with the International Quidditch Association and NaNoWriMo and dedicated its annual Accio Books! drive to Maria’s fantastic cause. Once again, many chapters and members rose to the task and helped to donate 30,217 books to communities in need!
Ravenclaws finally put an end to Hufflepuff’s domination of the Accio Books! House Cup, donating over 11,000 books — over a third of the total number! Also, Edmonton PotterWatch of Edmonton, Alberta, ran away with the Chapters Cup after collecting a mind-blowing 6,703 books! How is that even possible?! Oh right, they have love in their hearts and a desire to change the world! Therefore, anything is possible! WOOHOO!
The Bedford-Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School (BSNBCS) opened in September of 2010 without a library. For the Harry Potter Alliance’s 2011 Accio Books! campaign, members and chapters came together to fix this by sending in over 11,000 books (which its local NYDA chapter helped to sort). In August 2011, the group helped open the “Imagine Better” Library at the New Beginnings Charter School.
The winner of the 2011 House Cup competition was Hufflepuff, which makes them the reigning Accio Books[!] champion for two straight years! Go Badgers!
In 2010, HPA members and chapters donated 41,415 books, half of which went to a partner of the organization, the Delta Center for Culture and Learning. The Delta Center distributed those books to communities in need across the Mississippi Delta.
The House Cup winners? Hufflepuff!
In 2009, the HPA launched its first ever Accio Books! drive. The goal for the first annual book drive? Collect and donate 500 books. The response? Members and chapters donated 13,481 to local communities across the world and HPA partner ASYV (Agohozo Shalom Youth Village) in Rwanda.
Ravenclaw took the House Cup, thanks to special guest Head of House Evanna Lynch.