The Granger Leadership Academy Goes Virtual!

Jun 19, 2020

Posted by: Emma Pocock

Conventions, Fan Events, Fandom, Fans, News

Tickets for the first ever VIRTUAL Granger Leadership Academy by The Harry Potter Alliance are now available!

The GLA conference will take place virtually for the very first time this summer, July 17th-19th, due to COVID-19. Though many were excited to get to put in the work together in Pittsburgh later this year, a virtual event means fans worldwide can attend the sixth annual GLA conference (and nobody will be jet lagged!), and we’re hoping this brings together a record number of fans, creators, organizers, and academics to try to envision and enact change for good. The goal of the conference, in the HPA’s own words, is to “inspire and train activist leaders”, and includes leadership training, keynote speakers, guest presentations, and a wizard rock concert – so just an all-round brilliant weekend!

In a previous interview with Katie Bowers, Director at The Harry Potter Alliance, the GLA was described this conference as a place where folks can come together (this year, virtually), and where fan activist skills are brought to life. Fans take action together as a community during workshops on topics from community organisation skills and education around social justice issues, to workshops on personal development, elevator pitches, leadership styles and learning your individual role in privilege and oppression. The conference also holds creative workshops (such as social justice theatre / zine making), as well as fun, empowering activities in the evenings: a wizard rock show and a Wizards in Space Literary Magazine Open Mic Night!

“The Granger Leadership Academy is hosted by the Harry Potter Alliance, the world leader in fan activism. GLA is founded on the belief that pop culture can change the world and that the stories we love bring us together, but the story of our world is up to us. The conference provides a space for new and experienced leaders to come together for an intensive weekend of activist training. Attendees are assembled into teams to learn to utilize and strengthen their skills and experiences in activism. This year, since the conference is online, the HPA hopes to bring in more attendees from all around the world.”

The GLA involves fans in programming and workshops aiming to inspire and train, hosted by activists and experts in topics from feminism, environmental issues, racism, and more. Keynote speakers previously have ranged from Mari Copeny (aka Little Miss Flint), an 11 year old activist fighting for the rights of children in Flint, Michigan, YouTuber and body positivity advocate Meghan Tonjes, creator of ?The Brain Scoop? Emily Graslie, and Native scholar Dr. Adrienne Keene.

Tickets for GLA start at just $25 (up to $75), and include:

  • 20+ programs from fandom leaders, community organizers, academics, and creators
  • Wrock concert featuring Tonks and the Aurors, Lauren Fairweather, The Lovegoods, and Ludo Bagman and the Trash and a Community Mic Night presented by Wizards in Space
  • Community activities like pajama parties and s’mores around the virtual fire
  • A custom banquet recipe sent in advance so you can enjoy your own themed camp snacks
  • Access to exclusive community gathering spaces and opportunities to meet other fan activists like you
  • Downloads of workbooks and printable conference accessories

Throughout the Granger Leadership Academy, there’s an emphasis on taking the skills learnt throughout the weekend and turning those into action through The Harry Potter Alliance’s partnerships with other organisations. For example, in previous years  the GLA worked with The American Library Association to write letters and make videos to get more funding for public libraries. Another year, GLA  attendees threw a protest (creating chants, designing artwork and orgnanising a rally) in partnership with Border Links to protest the detainment of a local organiser being held by ICE.

ALL are welcome at the GLA – attendees in the past have ranged from grade schoolers to retired witches and wizards, and the conference is entirely all-ages welcome.

Tickets are available now at ? We’re excited to see what Camp GLA brings this year – be sure to join us!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.