GOOD 100: Meet Andrew Slack, Human Rights Champion and Harry Potter Fanatic
Andrew Slack is the co-founder of the Harry Potter Alliance. Since 2005, the HPA has garnered support for human, LBGTQ, and immigration rights by drawing parallels with J.K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter series. Using the characters and plot from the series as a foundation, the HPA hopes to educate and mobilize young people worldwide to get involved in equality and human rights issues.
They have raised more than $100,000 for life-saving supplies in Haiti, donated more than 80,000 books across the world, and raised awareness about Darfur. In spring of 2011, the HPA presented Warner Bros CEO Barry Meyer with a report by renowned human rights watchdog Free2Work giving their Harry Potter chocolate an “F” in human rights, along with evidence that child slavery in the Ivory Coast went into the sourcing of Harry Potter cocoa.
In response, Warner Bros. told the HPA that they had conducted an internal report, proving that Harry Potter cocoa met their ethical sourcing guidelines. But Slack says Warner Bros. refused to show the report to the HPA or give any reason why they would hide it.
“We live in an era where outfits like Change.org, the Tea Party, and the Occupy movements force governments and companies to be transparent. It’s time for Warner Bros. to wake up to the twenty-first century,” Slack says.
As a result, Slack and the HPA launched Showusthereport.com, uniting Harry Potter fans, Nerdfighters, YouTube celebrities, best-selling young adult authors, actors from the movie, and corporate transparency and anti-trafficking organizations to call on Warner Bros. to show this report.
The eventual goal is to go to Willy Wonka chocolate as well, “until all chocolate marketed in the name of children's stories is not involved in assisting the kidnapping and enslavement of children,” Slack says. The HPA hopes this will drive the message home that in the twenty-first century, everyone, including the biggest companies, need to be responsible for ending child slavery.
2013 will see increased initiatives in this direction as well as the yearlong campaign Equality FTW, which, among other things, will aim to fight sexual street harassment with our smart phones. The organization will also be building a library for a school in need in Chicago, as well as continuing to advocate creatively for immigration reform and LBGTQ equality throughout the spring and summer.
By the end of the Fall when "Catching Fire," the sequel to “The Hunger Games,” comes out, the HPA will be launching a major "Catching Fire" campaign against poverty.
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