GeekGirlCon Condemns Hate Crimes and White Supremacy: A Message from the Board

In our eleven years, GeekGirlCon has made it our mission to celebrate and honor the legacies of underrepresented groups in science, technology, comics, arts, literature, gameplay, and game development. To keep our community mission alive, we must take a stand against white supremacy and show support for those who are currently living in fear for their lives and safety. 

Since March of 2020, reported hate crimes against Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Americans (APIDA) have increased over 150%. The APIDA community has been impacted disproportionally from COVID, with over 223,000 APIDA-owned businesses forced to close their doors. Eight lives were lost on March 16, 2021 as a result of one of many hate crimes targeting those in the APIDA community. GeekGirlCon staff are mourning. We hurt for not only the lives of the eight that were lost on March 16, but also for the thousands of lives that are impacted by white supremacy every day. We understand that while the increase of reported hate crimes against the APIDA community is alarming, these crimes are often not reported, spoken about, or acknowledged. 

Our values of community, empowerment, diversity, and inclusion cannot be honored if we stand on the sidelines and ignore the impact of hate crimes in our community. We must acknowledge our peers in the geek community who are victims of hate crimes. We must give them the microphone to hear their experiences, and we must educate ourselves to understand why those who are APIDA are afraid and hurting right now. We must fight for those who are too tired to keep fighting. More importantly, we must create a space for those who need the shelter to recoup. As long as we stand silent, we give the megaphone to those who spew hate and normalize racism.

GeekGirlCon stands with the APIDA community and will ALWAYS condemn white supremacy.  Though we are apart, we still stand with all of those who need our support at this time. We understand that many of our volunteers, supporters, and community members use GeekGirlCon as an escape from the hate, attacks, and harassment. We will continue to create a community that serves as a safe haven for all who need it and to work towards our mission to ensure that GeekGirlCon celebrates underrepresented groups in all things Geek.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Showing Up for Indigenous Communities with Our Money, Time, and Attention

Our community comes together on Indigenous land–the occupied, unceded territory of Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Snohomish, Lummi, Skagit, and Swinomish. It’s our responsibility to reckon with this reality every day, throughout our personal lives, professional lives, and everything in between. 

However, this acknowledgement is not enough. A continuing priority for GeekGirlCon is to build real, lasting, power-sharing relationships with Indigenous communities. We commit to holding ourselves accountable to this work and doing better. 

Today, Thanksgiving in the United States, is a symbolically relevant day to center conversations about how white and non-Indigenous people perpetuate the ongoing colonization of Indigenous communities. That being said, we must make these conversations–and action–a priority every day. 

Below are some resources for education, taking action, and engaging with Indigenous creators–this is far from a comprehensive list, but rather a place to build from:

Unlearning colonial Thanksgiving myths:

Mashpee Wampanoag

The people harmfully mythologized in our stories about Thanksgiving are currently fighting to defend the status of their Reservation and along with it resources for critical programs. This page describes direct action you can take.

All My Relations podcast: ThanksTaking or ThanksGiving?

The real history of Thanksgiving as told by Wampanoag scholars Paula Peters and Linda Coombs.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Big Players in Game Creation Coming to GeekGirlCONLINE this Sunday

VALVE | #Valve @ValveSoftware

WEARING ALL THE HATS: Adventures in Gaming and Tech with the Women of Valve

Sunday, October 25 at 2:30 p.m. on Twitch

Join a panel of women from Valve sharing their experiences wearing all of the hats as they contribute to games, Steam, and VR, discussing topics ranging from mechanical keyboards, wildlife tracking, imposter syndrome, confidence, humility, design, and playtesting.

MINECRAFT

Behind the Blocks: The Women Making Minecraft w/ Helen Chiang

Sunday, October 25 at 5:30 p.m. on Twitch

Meet the women making Minecraft: Head of Studio Helen Chiang, Chief Storyteller Lydia Winters, Minecraft Creator GM Deanna Hearn, and Executive Producer Anita Sujarit as they discuss being a leader inside one of the most popular gaming franchises in the world, Minecrafting for good, career tips for industry pros and newcomers, and what excites them as they look to the future of gaming.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

GeekGirlCONLINE Weekend 2 | Comics

We hope you loved the first weekend of GeekGirlCONLINE! 

We’re thrilled to return this weekend with another round of geeky fun with a whole new theme: Comics! Here’s a quick look at what you can expect in the coming days:

Panels & Activities

Join us on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. for Behind the Scenes in Kids Comics with Wendy Browne, Kiara Valdez, Rose Pleuler, Whitney Leopard, JuYoun Lee, and Megan Peace!

What goes into making a book? Join four esteemed editors from inside comics publishing for a discussion of editing, agents, pitching, and what goes on in the everyday of working at a publisher. With kids graphic novel editors Whitney Leopard (Random House Graphic), Megan Peace (Scholastic Graphix), Rose Pleuler (Harper Alley), and Kiara Valdez (First Second). Moderated by Wendy Browne (Women Write About Comics).

We’ve also got two fun and exciting workshops coming up on Sunday! Tune in to Twitch on Sunday, October 11 at 1 p.m. for All About Wigs hosted by the Cosplay Repair Station. Right after, tune in for Geeky Comedy at 2:30 p.m. 

All this programming will stream live on our Twitch account, so mark your calendars! 

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Q&A with GeekGirlCONLINE Merch Artist Ragon Dickard

Custom merch design for GeekGirlCONLINE '20

Each year, our team works with a new artist to create custom GeekGirlCon merch for the con. Most things about this year are different, but we do have an amazing merch artist for you to meet: Ragon Dickard! 

To give y’all a better picture of the person who created the works of art that are this year’s designs, I asked Ragon some questions about her background, art, and surviving quarantine. 

So read on to learn all about Ragon, and when you’re done, check out our 2020 merch here.

Meet Ragon, everybody! [Image Description: Headshot of Ragon. She’s white and has short curly brown hair. She’s smiling brightly and looking at the camera. She has a septum piercing and apple earrings (of her own design!). She’s wearing a striped black and white shirt.]

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Over 100 Exhibitors in the Virtual Expo Hall!

Such a huge part of attending any con—as I’m sure y’all know—is spending hours looking through all of the amazing exhibitors who bring their breathtaking work to us year after year. I’m sure we all agree that it’s one of our favorite ways to support independent creators.

While we can’t convene in person, we still fully intend to recreate that pivotal experience with our Virtual Expo Hall.

Launching in October, our virtual marketplace will play host to over 100 unique exhibitors. Our team is currently working hard to prepare a seamless digital browsing experience for all of us, so stay tuned for more updates as we near GeekGirlCONLINE.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

The Case for Twilight Book Clubs

I’ve always been drawn to the idea of book clubs. But, in reality, that’s always all it’s ever been to me–an idea.

During high school, in a last-ditch effort to find community at the time when I felt most incapacitated by my anxiety, I recall trying to start a book club with the help of the librarian. In the end, I was one of two people who read the book, and we never met a second time. When I graduated from college a year before my two best friends, we started a book club (/podcast, which is highly cringey to admit in retrospect…) as a means to stay close despite the newfound distance. Again, we read one book before letting the self-imposed pressure to publicize our conversations get the better of us. A couple of years ago, I did an internship at the Feminist Press, and even there, perhaps the place one would need the least external motivation to collectively read and talk about books, I become absorbed with the idea of starting dedicated book club among the staff. No surprise, that project did not come to fruition. Since moving to Seattle, I’ve officially joined approximately five different book clubs, some through bookstores, some through friends, some through neighborhood groups. I’ve never actually been to a single meeting, though I still read the books on my own sometimes–always with the best and most hopeful intentions.

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

LGBTQIA+ Staff Round-Up for Pride: Queer Media We Love

We’re currently living through one of the weirdest and darkest and most stressful times most of us have ever experienced–you don’t need me to tell you that. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is how much we need to continue fostering our communities if we’re going to survive with our mental health and relationships and sense of hope intact. Thinking about good queer media, and sharing it with y’all, is only one tiny part of that work, but it’s a part I can do today, just in time to honor the end of Pride. Read on to hear what some of our LGBTQIA+ GeekGirlCon staffers love about their favorite queer media, take care of yourselves and each other, and then let’s get back to showing up for Black lives and queer liberation.

Look at this beautiful piece Tina Burns, our Twitter Social Media Specialist, made earlier this month! [Image Description: Watercolor Pride flag with the word “Love” written in cursive on it.] Source: Tina Burns

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

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