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.
I live in a sleepy Seattle neighborhood that’s known for its historic, small-town charm and strong sense of community. Renting is the exception, not the norm, and many of my neighbors have been here for decades. I once described where I live to someone in the area, and he responded with, “Oh! You mean the rental unit?”
My neighborhood is also dotted with Neighborhood Crime Watch signs, a fact I was only peripherally aware of until a few weeks ago.
This year has been a challenging one for most of us who follow politics. From the Women’s March to the March for Science to the numerous Black Lives Matter Marches, activism and getting involved in political action has been increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives.
How we understand politics is also pervasive throughout pop culture and the media we consume, and this is reflected in several of the panels that will be presented at GeekGirlCon ‘17. Even if you’ve never written political slogans on a square of cardboard, nor marched in the street, there’s a place for you to start learning about how your can take what you’re passionate about and transform it into effective activism.
What’s up, everyone! Shubz Blalack here! For those of you at the Con, join us in Room 303 for this moderated roundtable discussion with Anita Sarkeesian, Alejandra Espino, Suzanne Scott, and moderator Miley Martinez!
Alejandra Espino (AE): How can we create being politically engaged while not losing the pleasure of creation?
Anita Sarkeesian (AS): How can we be fans AND be critical? What does that mean and how do we actually do that?
Suzanne Scott (SS): Race, fandom, and social justice. Teaches about race, fandom and video game culture. How do you manage the “squee” in a critical fashion? We need to find a meaningful critical ground.
Check out the organization of transformative works!
Topics and questions raised:
How do we talk about representations of economic classes?
Chauvinism in favor of the STEM fields.
Creating characters in a feminist context in a culture of sexism.
Points made: AE: Being critical is what fuels creativity.
Who is being represented in geek culture is not always who is consuming geek culture.
What times of fandom are industrially valued?
AS:There are a lot of interpretations of feminism and what that means.
AE: I create fantastic characters with the idea of the “outsider” in mind, someone that is marginalized.
AS: Storytelling needs to be the way we change the world.
AS: Art is to make change.
SS: More attention towards the industrial structures that promote not promote social change.
It will take a social movement for oppressive storytelling to change.
We need to spend more time to what will create change versus what will pull the focus away from it.
Closing Statements SS: Discomfort often exposes the prejudices people have. Having a conversation about that will be a great step towards social justice.
AE: Don’t let others cease the criticism you may have.
AS: Your anger towards social injustice can be used to create something to fight it.