#1 Why Does It Matter to Me?

What is your passion? Where does it come from?

Start with the experiences and interests you and your friends already can’t get enough of, and connect that engagement to civic and political themes. Popular culture fandom, for example, is a great source to harness. Overall, you and your peers know a lot about a lot, and you’ve got all sorts of authentic ways to bring your friends on board. Use that expertise to build traction for your cause by finding unexpected alignments. And take the time to figure out why your passion matters to you.

What It Can Look Like?

Imagine Better Project is part of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) that taps enthusiasm for popular culture and applies fandom energy toward social change. By appropriating storylines, characters, and iconography from popular narratives, fans “turn the fictions they love into the world they imagine.”

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Related Resources

About Fan Activism

Find more stories about HPA from “Decreasing World Suck”: Harnessing Popular Culture for Fan Activism (Chapter3)” in By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism (Jenkins et al., 2016).


"Make It Click"

Interview and Illustration by Desmond Meagley

Q. How do you connect fantasy worlds like Harry Potter to real-world social issues?

A. To the Harry Potter Alliance, diehard fandoms are just group of “activists without the activism,” after all, fandoms organize network, and create, just like activist do. By connecting much-beloved works of fiction to important social causes and building campaigns that emphasize those common themes to fans, HPA turns bookworms into hers who have the skills to change the world. Listen to the interview that follows.

HPA believes in the power of a personal story. We use the power of story to mobilize fans towards social action.