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Sunday, January 23, 2011

So, there's this thing called WisCon. It's a convention on science fiction and fantasy that focuses on feminism, gender, race, and class. And people talk politics a lot. And there's an academic track. And sometimes they disinvite the guest of honor because she says something super racist online.

Sounds awesome, right?!

That's exactly what the friend who told me about thought I would think. Which is why he told me about it. But you know my broke ass really can't afford to spend money to run off to Wisconsin (heh heh - you see what they did there?) for a random geek/nerd/feminism extravaganza. As does he. So he *also* told me about this other awesome thing called Con Or Bust, an annual fundraising effort to help people of color attend WisCon (and, I think, other science fiction and fantasy conventions, though I've only heard about it in conjunction w/WisCon), in an effort to increasing racial diversity and goodness in the science fiction and fantasy loving/making communities. This effort was started in response to some serious fuckery that happened a couple of years ago (you can find a good summary of said fuckery here, but be warned SERIOUS FUCKERY, and a lot of it). Here's what you need to know for this conversation: as part of a much larger discussion on writing about The Other, it came up that, yes, Virginia, people of color do, in fact, read science fiction and fantasy. And we do, in fact, attend conventions. And we would, in fact, do so more often, if we had more resources. So someone said, "Well, why don't we raise some funds and help some more people of color come to our convention?" And so Con or Bust was born.

Well, guess what? I'm a person of color, and I would love to go to WisCon, so I have thrown my name in the Con or Bust 2011 hat, and they're agreed to share some of those funds with me. How does this affect you? Well, maybe not at all. But, if you'd like to know more about how I'll be getting sent to WisCon, you can follow that link to Con or Bust 2011 info, where you'll find links to info on how to offer things to be auctioned off, how to browse the things being auctioned and, if you decide to bid, how to do so, or how to just make a donation.

If you're a person of color who would also like to go to WisCon and you'd also like to request assistance, look here for information on how to do that.

Finally, here's what my friend (who is also awesome) had to say about Con or Bust:
Con or Bust is dedicated to getting fans of color to WisCon, and I have been astounded by the generosity of all involved, and by the awesome, awesome people who have been able to attend WisCon because of it. It's helping to increase the visibility and visible participation of people of color in the SF&F artistic, fandom, and critical communities, and has definitely helped make WisCon a convention that I love and look forward to attending.
Yeesh - no pressure, dude. Hope I don't mess up the track record of awesomeness :)

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