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:

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:

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 ⇓

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Hangin’ with the HPA at LeakyCon

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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 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:

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

The Weapon We Have is Love,
The HPA.

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Seven Years since Deathly Hallows came out!


Seven years ago, the world said it was the end of an era. News outlets prepared for what they thought – and perhaps hoped – would be their final coverage of the Harry Potter phenomenon. While small bookstores celebrated alongside readers, big box stores were gearing up for “one last midnight release.”

Seven years ago, we knew better. We were ready. We were decked out from head to toe, friends new and old by our side and wand at the ready. Maybe we were lining up, filling stores and sidewalks with our excited chatter, shutting down Harvard Yard with our music movement, pushing our favorite fansites’ servers to their limits. We were loud because we knew the rest of the night would be spent in silence. We knew we’d be reading well into daylight. We knew better. Read more ⇓

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Internet Merch Table

Safe sounds don't tolerate gender-based harassment!  Do you know who the Title IX Coordinator for Hogwarts is?  Image:

Did you know we have an internet merch table?

We’ve spent our summer apparating from one con to another, so our physical merch table has been pretty busy. Thanks to wizard science and our friends at DFTBA Records, however, all our wizard wearables (including shirts for people and walls) are also available through the internet. We’ve even gotten the Ministry of Magic to let us lift all the charms on it and make it available beyond the Floo Network.

Our online store just got some new additions:

Now you can rep the internet with our Hogwarts Internet Club and Grangr t-shirts. There’s also our super-swanky Books Turn Muggles Into Wizards journal, which we promise is not a horcrux. And if you’re in need of some encouragement, you can hang the Hang in There, Baby Crookshanks poster on your wall for instant, furry moral support.

These are the latest in our merch line, which includes some of our old favorites like the Granger/Lovegood 2016 campaign tee and our classy HPA logo shirt. So classy.

We’d love to see you at our booths and tables across the country (LeakyCon Orlando, anyone?), but the internet’s got your back if you can’t make it.

Each purchase helps support our work at the Harry Potter Alliance. So thanks!

Feel free to buy all the things. 

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Don’t let Net Neutrality disrupt your regular stream of cat videos

Image source:

Flickr user M3Li55@

Hey, do you love YouTube?

Maybe you’ve heard about this thing called Net Neutrality.

It’s the idea that once you’ve paid for your internet service, you should have equal access to the entire internet: from your favorite independent YouTube creators and to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

But internet service providers (ISPs) want that to end. They want to be able to charge the content creators to get onto your computer screens: a service that you’ve already paid for.

Today is a big day in the fight to preserve Net Neutrality.

The FCC’s public comment period ends this week!

Take a few minutes to watch our friend Hank Green’s video on net neutrality and sign this petition which sends comments directly to the FCC.

Tell the FCC that you love YouTube. Tell them about how independent video creators have enriched your life and remind them that it was made possible by Net Neutrality.

Let them know! Now!

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Tomorrow’s Esther Day event


Earlier this summer we launched The Esther Day Project, a campaign to prepare for our favorite holiday. While Esther Day is August 3rd, we’re honoring Esther Earl and the power of love all summer long.

Tomorrow at 2:30 PM Eastern, HPA President Andrew Slack will be joined by Lori and Wayne Earl, Esther’s parents and This Star Won’t Go Out’s founders, for a livestream. Read more ⇓

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Happy Birthday Title IX! Legal Gender Equality in Schools is Turning 42

The crack of a bat.  The slap of a hockey stick.  The splash in a pool.

Title IX is about more than just women's sports.  Image credit:

Title IX is about more than just women’s sports. Image credit:

If you’ve heard anything about Title IX, it probably sounds something like that.  This past week celebrated the 42nd anniversary of Title IX, an amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965. Title IX states that, No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Quidditch may have always been co-ed, but for muggles in the U.S., Title IX is credited with equalizing the playing field for women in sports.  When the law was enacted in 1972, there were 295,000 girls playing high school sports.  Today, that number has skyrocketed to over 3 million.  Girls of different racial and economic backgrounds don’t reap the benefits of increased athletic opportunities equally, and the money spent on women’s sports pales in comparison to the budget for men’s teams, but there is no denying Title IX has had a profound impact on women’s athletics.

“But wait,” you say.  “That law up there says no person and any education program, not just women and sports.”

You savvy reader, you.

Read more ⇓

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A very big announcement


As you know, it’s already been a big year for the HPA. And it’s nowhere near over. I’m extremely excited to share with you a series of three more epically awesome updates.

I was just named an Ashoka Fellow!

“Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who we recognize to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society. They demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change. Ashoka Fellows work in over 70 countries around the globe in every area of human need.”

This fellowship offers three years of funding and support, but beyond that, for the rest of my life I will have deep connections to a network of thousands of proven innovators and social entrepreneurs, and that network should open up fundraising, partnership, and expansion opportunities that will be unprecedented and gamechanging for the HPA. See this video interview Ashoka did with me to learn more.

The HPA is expanding from an organization to a movement – which brings me to the next exciting announcement.

I am now HPA President and Director of the Imagine Better Network

As the founder of the Harry Potter Alliance, it is my baby and I treasure it deeply. But when I thought of the idea for the HPA in 2005, it was mainly a way to get to the dream I came up with around 1999: to build what we now call the Imagine Better Network, a larger movement based on the notion that fantasy is not an escape from our world, but an invitation to go deeper into it.

The power of story extends beyond the walls of Hogwarts into all of our most treasured books, TV shows, and movies. It is my role to take the HPA’s methodology of harnessing the power of popular stories and spread it to nonprofits and schools, activist organizations, philanthropists, and Hollywood. In short, I will put forward an Imagination Stimulus Package to expand our civic imagination, so that we can envision and work for a world beyond the injustices in our status quo.

Paul DeGeorge is the new Executive Director of the Harry Potter Alliance

I received the Ashoka fellowship in large part based on my work this year as a Nathan Cummings fellow in social justice innovation. During this time, it became increasingly clear to both Paul and me that his job has evolved more and more to lead the HPA as an organization, while mine was focused on leading the HPA as a movement.

As one of the HPA’s co-founders, a creator of wizard rock, half of Harry and the Potters, and a founder of 21st century fan activism, Paul is an innovative big vision thinker while excelling in the day-to-day skills needed to steward ideas to completion, manage finances, and inspire staff and volunteers to rally around him as a leader.

Please join me in congratulating him as our new forward-thinking captain. Paul is truly one of the greatest leaders I’ve ever met, and one of the most creative human beings on the planet.

As President of the HPA, I will continue to work closely with Paul as we continue to turn fans into heroes and change the world. And while Paul leads the HPA, I will ensure that all of the work the HPA does gets amplified 10,000 times over – when the HPA does something amazing, I will take it to other nonprofits, activists, Hollywood, you name it, and make it 10,000 times more spreadable and amazing.

This is only the beginning of our movement, and I’m honored that you’re part of the journey with me.

The Weapon We Have Is Love!


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