According to the Alliance, the world of Harry Potter is more like our world than we might think:
"Genocide, Poverty, AIDS, and Global Warming are ignored by our media and governments the way Voldemort's return is ignored by the Ministry and Daily Prophet.In May 2005, Andrew Slack and his friend Justin Oberman started a MySpace site to discuss the connections between the Harry Potter series and social justice. (Interesting tidbit: Harry Potter author JK Rowling used to work for Amnesty International). When the site took off, 27-year-old Slack created the Harry Potter Alliance.
People are still discriminated against based on sexuality, race, class, religion, gender, ethnicity, and religion just as the Wizarding World continues to discriminate against Centaurs, Giants, House Elves, Half-Bloods, Muggle borns, Squibs, and Muggles
Our governments continue to respond to terror by torturing prisoners (often without trial) just as Sirius Black was tortured by dementors with no trial."
On Saturday, July 14th, the Harry Potter Alliance, in conjunction with the Genocide Intervention Network, and other human rights groups, are encouraging Harry Potter lovers and human rights activists to hold house parties to learn more about the situation in Darfur, and to take action.
Party goers can listen to a Pottercast with Joe Wilson, former U.S. Ambassador; John Prendergast, Senior Advisor to the International Crisis Group; Dot Maver, Executive Director of the Peace Alliance; and John Passacantando, Executive Director of Greenpeace.
Participants will also be asked to take action in a number of ways:
1. Use 1-800-GENOCIDE to call your Governor, 2 Senators and Representatives and ask them to take action. The Genocide Intervention Network has created the first anti-genocide hotline. When you call you will be connected directly to your elected officials for free. All you need is your zip code.
2. Sign the AsktheCandidates petition asking all of the 2008 Presidential candidates to commit to ending the genocide in Darfur.
3. Go to DarfurScores.org, and find out how your elected leaders have been graded regarding Darfur. Thank the ones who are doing well and ask the ones who are "failing" to take action. My Senators, Boxer and Fenstein, and Representative, Lee, all got A's!
You can get more information about how to take action, and about the event, on the PotterCast web site, MuggleNet and of course, the Harry Potter Alliance
In addition to raising awareness about Darfur, the Harry Potter Alliance also created the (hilarious) YouTube video Harry Potter and the Dark Lord WaldeMart about Wal-Mart's employees policies. You can watch their newest video and learn more on Waldemart Watch.
Image Credit: Harry Potter Alliance logo from the HP Alliance MySpace.