It’s hard to believe, but D.A. Days 2014 is already over, folks. Here’s a lineup of the week’s events if you want to revisit them:
Sunday: Butterbeer cake
Monday: The Secret of Platform 13
Tuesday: How I met the Harry Potter books
Wednesday: Some gorgeous HP wall art
Thursday: The Magicians
Friday: Some gorgeous HP jewelry
And today: A special edition of the Golden Toga Flap, the semiregular award that affirms lovely people and organizations making a positive difference in the world.
Today’s focus is on the Harry Potter Alliance, a fan-driven group on a mission:
Just as Dumbledore’s Army wakes the world up to Voldemort’s return, works for equal rights of house elves and werewolves, and empowers its members, we: Work with partner NGOs in alerting the world to the dangers of global warming, poverty, and genocide. Work with our partners for equal rights regardless of race, gender, and sexuality. Encourage our members to hone the magic of their creativity in endeavoring to make the world a better place. Join our army to make the world a safer, more magical place, and let your voice be heard!
At the moment, the HPA has three projects on display on its main carousel: the Odds in Our Favor campaign against economic inequality; a petition to Warner Bros. to address alleged human rights violations in its production of official Harry Potter chocolates; and Esther Day, a holiday created to celebrate all types of love, not just the ooey-gooey Valentine’s Day kind.
If that’s not an impressive snapshat of the scope of their work, take a look at a few of their past successes:
- They raised $123,000 for Partners in Health’s efforts in Haiti.
- They’ve donated over 120,000 books to various causes, including 4,000 books to a youth center in Rwanda and over 9,000 books to a charter school in New York City.
- In 2009, they contacted nearly 3,600 people in one day in an effort to stop marriage inequality in Maine.
With stories like these in my mind, I can’t help but laugh every time someone says dismissive things about Harry Potter fans — like they’re still eleven years old, dressed in too-big robes and spangled hats, jumping up and down in line at the bookstore. Some of us still are those kids at heart, and we will always hold those memories dear. But in our relationship with these books, we’ve picked up more along the way than a little Latin and mythology. We’ve also picked up lessons in loyalty, equality, friendship, love, courage, hard work, and forgiveness — and as the Harry Potter Alliance proves, those lessons are powerful indeed when put into practice.
So here’s to you, Harry Potter Alliance, for all of the wonderful projects you’ve done already and for those you still have ahead of you. You’re the embodiment of fan power at its best, and we can’t wait to see what you do next.