“Take Action Like a Hufflepuff!” The Harry Potter Alliance Launches Immigration Justice Database

Unless you’ve been living in the Forbidden Forest, you’ve probably heard of all the social and political issues going on. Immigration is one of those hot button topics right now. In the wake of immigration and foreign policy change, communities within the United States have made their opposition heard. But it takes more than a voice to bring about change. It takes action. Since 2005, the Harry Potter Alliance has been determined to bring about that change while wiping out hate and bigotry.

The Harry Potter Alliance strives to bring activism to everyone through the “power of story and popular culture.” Dumbledore’s Army Fights Back is an immigration justice activist campaign from the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA). The past two years have kept the organization busy!

In 2016, the world shifted in a big way. Bigotry and fear have long been a part of the global story, but it felt like the world hit a tipping point. Death Eaters seized the opportunity to rise to power. People were scared, they were angry, and they wanted to fight back.

MuggleNet had the opportunity to speak with Katie Bowers, managing director of the Harry Potter Alliance, about the new immigration justice database and Dumbledore’s Army. Bowers broke down several aspects of the campaign linked to all four of the Hogwarts Houses.

Gryffindors were summoned for their bravery, to take action by planning and attending protests. Ravenclaws were summoned for their wit, to research organizations that provide resources and support for immigrant justice. Hufflepuffs were summoned for their loyalty, to utilize the newly formed immigrant justice database. There is an unrevealed plan for Slytherins to be launched in the coming weeks.

The Harry Potter Alliance encourages everyone to participate and engage in the qualities of all Houses, despite your Sorting results!

The HPA and Dumbledore’s Army launched its immigration justice database on November 6. The database, known as Dumbledore’s Army Fights Back Near You, is a full list of local locations, services, and organizations dedicated to the service of immigrants and fighting for their rights. Thanks to the many Ravenclaws and their tenacity, the Dumbledore’s Army Fights Back Near You database was crowdsourced from people who knew of organizations in their areas. Bowers commented on the list and the purpose she hopes it serves.

We have resources for both state and local levels. Both are super important. I think folks can have the most immediate impact locally in their communities. But the state-level work is also super important, and we have resources for both.

The HPA gives new activists everything they need to start on the path toward equality – right down to Neville’s Guide to Tough Conversations. If you’ve ever had to navigate one of those tough conversations about equality and social justice, then you’ll know it’s not the most fun. But hopefully, Neville’s guide will make it a little less difficult next time. The HPA also provides inexperienced volunteers with a politics 101 guide, titled Defense Against the Dark Arts: Politics for Beginners, to educate those who may not be familiar with the “drier” aspects of the government process.

When speaking to Bowers, she revealed the hopes she has for new volunteers and activists.

Number one, ideally, we would really like folks to reach out to these organizations on the database and find out how [volunteers] can be of best help to the organizations. Just like Hermione when [she] started S.P.E.W., she didn’t talk to the house[-]elves, didn’t find out what they needed, and the whole thing was a complete flop. But she learned from that experience, and when she [helped] make Dumbledore’s Army, she was looking at ‘What do [we] need in our community?’ and ‘What do we want to learn as students?’ So we want people to be like Dumbledore’s Army Hermione, not like S.P.E.W. Hermione.

Bowers went on to talk about the impacts that activists can have in their communities from when they begin volunteering, fundraising, donating, and providing resources to immigrants. But the most important, Bowers says, is to “find a place where you feel you can volunteer and make a difference.”

Press Release

The Harry Potter Alliance Launches Crowd-Sourced [sic] Immigration Justice Database

The organization asks individuals to use the resource to join in supporting the fight for immigration justice.

The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) released a completed crowd-sourced [sic] immigration justice database listing organizations around the country serving immigrants and fighting for immigration rights. The database, completed last month during the organization’s Dumbledore Fights Back campaign, allows activists to look up and connect with immigrant-serving and immigrant-led organizations near them.

Just like a Hufflepuff, the HPA is now asking people to join in supporting these organizations through hard work and kindness by donating, volunteering and organizing with the organizations found through the database. For every action completed, individuals can submit a record of their action -- via a photo, a video or a story -- and receive an official #DAFightsBack pin in the mail through the end of 2019.

This effort is a part of the HPA’s current Dumbledore’s Army Fights Back (#DAFightsBack) campaign. Through the lens of different Hogwarts [H]ouses, the organization has asked activists to take action. Past actions for this campaign include the Gryffindor action of attending and/or organizing local protests and the Ravenclaw action, where wizard activists were able to compile this crowd-sourced [sic] database using their research skills. Wizard activists also wrote letters to the editor[s] of local newspapers advocating for their local lawmakers to support the local immigrant communities.

Over the past two years, wizard activists have contacted lawmakers, wrote letters, signed petitions, and made phone calls with our campaign Neville Fights Back - but the organization felt like something was missing. Those actions are important, but they can also feel a bit lonely. What Neville really needed to make a difference was friendship, love, and community. He couldn’t do it alone, he needed Dumbledore's Army.

“#DAFightsBack is our answer to the need for connection during resistance,” said Katie Bowers, the Managing Director. “We're focusing on actions that connect and bond activists in new ways and help us respond to each challenge with energy, imagination, and - most importantly - love.”

The HPA is asking wizard activists to take action throughout the month of November but encourage [sic] activists to continue working with these organizations in the database throughout the year. The database can be found on the HPA’s website as well as information about the full #DAFights back campaign.