I love this article at Mic.com about “Harry Potter Activists.” An online alliance of Harry Potter fans undertook a 4-year campaign that convinced Warner Bros Entertainment to buy only UTZ certified cocoa for its line of Harry Potter inspired chocolate bars.
Why is this important? Because the cocoa industry is rife with child slavery and human trafficking, and it has been an uphill battle to convince chocolate makers to buy only from certified producers. It’s not only a big victory, it’s surprising as well, because it was accomplished relatively quickly by lots and lots of unknown people – Harry Potter fans.
The Harry Potter Alliance, a fan activist group that uses the Harry Potter series as the foundation for social justice initiatives…
“This goes beyond raising money and donating books,” Lauren Bird, a representative for Harry Potter Alliance, told Yes. “This is over four years of creative organizing, educating, collaborating and negotiating. For the HPA, this is a validation of fan activism, the idea that fans of stories can work together to effect change in the real world.”
Think about that. Fan activism. Fans of a fictional story – that is ultimately a story about justice and standing up against the institutionalized powers and the evils that infect them.
Stories are powerful. Readers are potentially powerful – enough to press for changes in the real world. Combine truth in fiction and empowerment of the readers, and maybe we’re just seeing the beginnings of what is possible.