Anybody out there heard of this little indie film that’s about to hit theaters? Something called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows? No? I didn’t think so.
Just kidding! Of course you have because it’s impossible to escape, and besides, who would want to? Harry Potter, as in the multimillion dollar film and book franchise, has taken on a cultish life of its own, with fans lining up days in advance to get books and dressing in full Hogwarts regala for film openings, to name a few things. But the most recent fan development, and inarguably the best eco-friendly move, has been the creation of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA), a group of hardcore fans who want to create social change, and their Deathly Hallows Campaign (DHC).
The campaign spans the nine months between Harry Potter films— November 2010 through July 2011— and focuses on ways to harness the energy of popular culture toward a real social transformation. Currently the movement is petitioning to change all Harry Potter chocolate to be Fair Trade, and is encouraging members to write letters to NBC Universal and Time Warner, create YouTube videos, and host Lumos Parties during the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. It’s not going to just be a few folks doing this, there are more than 160 Lumos Parties scheduled on 4 continents, and that number will only increase.
How do I know? Because the momentum for the DHC is just one drop in the stream of success bucket for the HPA. Looking at the past year, the HPA donated 55,000 books to local communities across the globe, raised $123,000 to send five cargo planes of supplies to Haiti relief, and won $250,000 through the Chase Community Giving Challenge on Facebook, taking first place over thousands of other non-profits. This unprecedented network reaches over 1 million people and 60 HPA chapters across the world— that’s a lot of muggles! Which means the HPA is more than likely going to get the message across that Harry Potter fans will accept fair trade chocolate, and nothing less.
In addition, throughout the next nine months various other campaigns will be launched through the DHC, including movements to support LGBT inequality, suicide, depression, bullying amongst teens, and ending genocide in Sudan. Which just goes to show that everyone can have a voice and make a difference, sometimes it just takes the right cult classic to motivate it.