Uniting the Fandom: Harry Potter Alliance Promotes Education

Photo+credit%3A+Elizabeth+Herman+%2717

Photo credit: Elizabeth Herman '17

The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) is an organization that uses the themes of Harry Potter and other works to host campaigns centered around issues such as bullying and climate change. The organization, which consists of many chapters located across the globe, works to circulate its message of equality through “fan activism,” or the use of subjects in popular literature and entertainment to promote social justice.

The Accio Books campaign is an annual book drive hosted by the HPA to promote literacy around the world. In addition to encouraging chapters to donate books within their local communities, the organization picks an official partner to receive the majority of the books collected each year. Past partners have included the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda; community centers in the Mississippi Delta; the Bedford-Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School in New York City; the Brightmoor Community Center in Detroit, Michigan; Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City, MO; and Borderline Books in Gateshead, England and Leiden, the Netherlands. Last year’s official partner was Masaka’s Chapter from Uganda, Africa. This chapter built the Good Shepherd School, a co-educational school that serves 250 students ages 3 – 17 in their rural community. We collect 346 books for the drive, and they were used to create a library for the school.

This year, the books are going to Words Alive, a nonprofit in San Diego that opens opportunities for success by inspiring in children a commitment to reading. Words Alive has programs for underserved communities in San Diego serving young children, adolescents and families. Over 5,000 children, teens, and families participate in these programs monthly. Boxes have been set up in the snug and the library for donations. Books will be accepted until May 18.