It seems hard to believe that The Harry Potter Alliance is turning 10 years old, but it's true. And now the Harry Potter Alliance is having a 10th Anniversary fundraiser to help hopefully them keep at for a next decade. So it's a perfect take a look back on all the work they've done in the world so far.
To those of us who grew up with the Harry Potter books, it seems only natural that they would inspire people to go forth and improve the world in their name. In addition to being an excellent story and an supremely realized fantasy world, the series taught a generation of kids about fairness, compassion, inclusion, resisting oppress, telling truth to power, questioning mainstream narratives, and standing up for good even when it seems like no one else is. It's a story about fighting for what you believe in and wanting to make the world better for everyone.
And the real magic of Harry Potter is that those lessons have stayed with us and shaped our worldview and inspired us to go out and do good.
In that spirit, the Harry Potter Alliance began in 2005 in order to help "turn fans into heroes." They believe in magic and in the powerful "renewable resource" of "unironic enthusiasm." And they've been making the world better for a decade. Here are just a few notable examples.
Making Harry Potter Chocolate More Ethical
Earlier this year, after a four-year campaign by the Harry Potter Alliance, Warner Brothers announced that from now on, the chocolate in all Harry Potter chocolate products would be UTZ or Fair Trade certified. Because how are fans of the series supposed to enjoy Harry Potter chocolate if its produced in ways that go against all the principles of fairness and justice that the Harry and his friends stood for? But now, fans can enjoy their chocolate frogs with a clear conscience, thanks to the efforts of the Harry Potter Alliance.
The Harry Potter Alliance's Accio Books campaign, which began in 2009 has so far put more than 200,000 books into the hands of underprivileged readers. They managed to donate more than 60,000 books in 2015 alone, and they aren't stopping. The organization hopes to raise one million books and build 25 libraries in the future.
Hunger Games Cultural Conversation
Just because they were inspired by Harry Potter doesn't mean they don't take to heart messages in other books. With the popularity of The Hunger Games, the Harry Potter Alliance made it a point to fight back against the prevailing cultural conversation, which focused on the love triangle aspect, rather than the much more central struggle against oppression depicted in the novels and movies. Their efforts included the above video, "The Hunger Games Are Real."
The Harry Potter Alliance officially supports LGBT equality, and numerous local chapters have campaigned for marriage equality initiatives across the country prior to full legalization of same-sex marriage earlier this year. The organization hopes going forward to fight bullying of LGBT students and support trans rights.
Fundraiser For Haitian Earthquake Relief
Following the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, the Harry Potter Alliance raised more than $120,000 for relief, enough to send three planes, fittingly called Harry, Hermione, and Ron, loaded with desperately needed medicine and supplies to the island. The organization has also held fundraisers for civilians in need other countries, including Darfur and Burma.
The Harry Potter Alliance has come a long way since they started 10 years ago — which also means greater expenses. So if you'd like to see them doing their excellent work for the next decade, consider donating.
You can find the campaign here.