This is Why They Banned Harry Potter

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For over thirty years, Banned Books Week has brought communities together to celebrate the thousands of books that have been challenged or banned in across the country.

From John Green’s Looking for Alaska to Maureen Johnson’s On the Count of Three to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, lots of our favorite books have made the list. Even the Harry Potter books have had their fair share of backlash.

Unlike the restricted section at Hogwarts, books don’t usually get banned because they teach kids how to take on other people’s appearances or split their souls in pursuit of immortality. Instead, we see books being banned because they present stories that need to be told but rarely are. They explore themes that make us better equipped to navigate our lives. Read more ⇓

Posted in Connect, Equality FTW, Hunger Games, Literacy | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

It’s Levi-VOTE-sa: Today is National Voter Registration Day!

Not registered to vote? Visit nationalvoterregistrationday.org TODAY!

Not registered to vote? Visit nationalvoterregistrationday.org TODAY!

Opening the door on democracy should be as easy as waving a wand, but even Alohomora can’t open every door. In most states in the U.S. the first step in the democratic process is registering to vote. On September 23rd, National Voter Registration Day, it is easier than ever.

Read more ⇓

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Equality FTW: Best. Day. Ever. For Harry Potter Fans

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Equality FTW Started Yesterday!

At the Harry Potter Alliance, we turn fans into heroes. We believe that we can change the world using the resources available to us and the enthusiasm we have for stories, friendships, and social good. We see this in action every day…

What we do is only possible because of the people we do it with.

As of yesterday, we’ve launched Equality FTW, our annual fundraiser.

Please check it out at EqualityFTW.org. Read more ⇓

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Hogwarts is in the UK – But Will that Still be True on Thursday?

Logos of the two campaigns for and against an independent Scotland.   Image via http://studyinuk.universiablogs.net

Logos of the two campaigns for and against an independent Scotland.
Image via http://studyinuk.universiablogs.net

If you think elections only matter when you’re voting for a leader, this week offers a pretty good example of why it’s important to get to the polls even when big name politicians aren’t running.  This Thursday, voters in Scotland will be making one of the most important decisions in their history: to stay a member of the United Kingdom, or to become their own independent nation.

Read more ⇓

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Think Global, Act Local: Why Midterm Elections Matter

This is the first piece in our Sonorous: Make Your Voice Heard series on elections and GOTV.  Are you under 18, not a U.S. Citizen, or both?  Don’t worry!  We’ll have blog posts for you, too!

Image by  nirots via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image by nirots via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Think Global, Act Local”.  Hermione Granger, founder of our Granger Leadership Academy, has been living this mantra for years: concerned about the rights of house elves everywhere, she started her work by trying to improve the lives of those working at Hogwarts (admittedly, she had a pretty steep learning curve…).

You probably think global and act local, too.  Do you ever ride your bike or carpool to cut down on climate change?  Do you work to reduce illiteracy rates by donating to Accio Books?  Maybe you’ve even joined or started an HPA chapter!  Everyone has done some small, localized action because they recognize that those small actions can impact global issues.

So… why is no one showing up for local and midterm elections?

Read more ⇓

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GLA: You’ll want to bring your time-turner

Witches and wizards!

Have you heard about MY leadership conference? Yes. I am running a leadership conference. It’s called Granger Leadership Academy, which is a delightful name for a conference in my humble opinion.

Granger Leadership Academy will include two full days of workshops that will prepare you to fight the dark arts in your community. I literally cannot think of anything more exciting than two full days of leadership training workshops! But if you need more convincing, consider these fun facts: Read more ⇓

Posted in Action, Chapters, Connect, Hunger Games, LGBTQ, Panem | Tagged , , ,

Top 7 Things That Happened At LeakyCon

Safe sounds don't tolerate gender-based harassment!  Do you know who the Title IX Coordinator for Hogwarts is?  Image: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/File:Concept_photo_of_The_Hogwarts_Castle_%28
Exterior%29.jpg

We had the time of our lives at LeakyCon, and we still can’t quite believe it’s over. Since we don’t have a time turner, here are just a few of our favorite memories from LeakyCon 2014:

1. Open at the Close gave 1,500 wizards a night in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.Between riding the Hogwarts Express, drinking butterbeer in the Leaky Cauldron, and taking on the Gringotts goblin coaster, experiencing the Wizarding World with our fellow fans was unforgettable.

Read more ⇓

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Hermione Granger wants YOU – Granger Leadership Academy!

Safe sounds don't tolerate gender-based harassment!  Do you know who the Title IX Coordinator for Hogwarts is?  Image: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/File:Concept_photo_of_The_Hogwarts_Castle_%28
Exterior%29.jpg

Hermione Granger: Part human. Part cat. ALL hero.

Hermione Granger is the HPA’s catspiration, and she’s also a huge influence on our social change methodology. When Hermione believed in a cause, she didn’t hesitate to organize her friends (often by force) and direct them toward some ambitious goals. Whether it was fighting for house elf rights or defeating Voldemort, Hermione was often the catalyst for movements that shaped the wizarding world’s future and made it a safer and more equitable place for all.

Harry Potter Alliance Chapters are built on the foundation that Hermione established with SPEW. Thus, it makes perfect sense that our first annual leadership conference has been named in her honor!

Granger Leadership Academy takes place from October 17 to 19, 2014, in Auburn, Alabama. We’ll have two full days of programming, a variety of leadership workshops, two keynote speakers and lots more. It’s a fantastic opportunity to level up your leadership resume while celebrating the stories and fandoms you love most! Read more ⇓

Posted in Action, Chapters, Connect, Empowerment, Human Rights, Hunger Games, LGBTQ | Tagged , , , , ,

Hangin’ with the HPA at LeakyCon

Photo courtesy of Leakycon.com

In just 3 days, we’re going to back Hogwarts.

We’ll be at LeakyCon in Orlando, FL this whole weekend. This is one of our favorite times of the year. It’s also one of our busiest. Our plans include five panels, orchestrating a magical book swap, and winning a Quidditch showdown. Here’s where you’ll be able to find us around the con:

At the Marketplace

When we’re not winning Quidditch matches, running panels, or singing Total Eclipse of the Heart, we’ll be open for business in the Marketplace. This’ll be where you can find our merchandise, including some throwback t-shirts in the bargain bin and our Books Turn Muggles Into Wizards journals.

While you’re there, you can also buy tickets for our raffle. The winner will win a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone signed by one J.K. Rowling. You know, the lady who wrote it. Maybe you’ve heard of her? Seriously. It’s signed and you could win it!

Our booth will also be the home to our Apparating Library. Our magical book swap first materialized in LeakyCon London last year. It’s been around the world since then, and we’re so psyched to see it come back to where it all began.

Here’s everything you need to know to participate: Read more ⇓

Posted in Chapters, Connect, Esther Day, Harry Potter Alliance News | Tagged , , , ,

Esther Day: Harry Loves Hermione

esther-day-2014

Esther Day is just a 1 week away!

We’re starting to see some of the projects coming in and it’s awesome. If you’re looking for Esther Day events on August 3rd, we’re encouraging people to list all their events here:
http://nerdfighteria.com/events

As we get closer to Esther Day, we’re asking everyone to think about those people to whom they may have trouble saying “I love you.” It can be a scary thing to do.

To help rally your courage, we asked our friend Harry Potter to take the lead. See what Harry has to tell Hermione.

Esther Day happens on August 3rd, so get ready! For more information, go to estherday.org.

The Weapon We Have is Love,
The HPA.

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