Racism is prevalent in all sections of our communities and society including fandom. Chicon 8 is committed to being an ally in the work of confronting racism and eradicating systems of oppression. This work includes examining our own bias and prejudice, the ways that we benefit from systemic/institutional racism, how privilege intersects with us and the lives of our members, and how microaggressions and macroaggressions impact our members from marginalized backgrounds and members of color.
We believe that all BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) lives matter.
We pledge to work for equity, inclusion, and diversity for our event, and to use our platform as a space for historically marginalized voices to be amplified. For many years, fandom and Worldcon have ignored these issues, and at times reinforced the systemic barriers and racism that are part of our fannish community and history. We will actively work to do better. We will listen. We will take action and make changes. We will seek out input from the members of our community on how we can continue to become the ally we wish to be. This work occurs in our pre-convention planning as well as at our parties, events, and the convention itself.
All of us, particularly those of us who come from a background of privilege, must stand together to denounce and dismantle racism, and to create better, more just, and more equitable communities for all People of Color.
At Chicon 8, we want to ensure no one is talked over, ignored, or dismissed when speaking about their lived experiences in a racist society. Problems that people of color often reference, include but are not limited to:
- Having their lived experiences dismissed (i.e. “I’ve never seen that.” “That happens to others too.”)
- Unsolicited comments about their appearance or touching hair.
- Being expected to be an authority on non-white characters in various fandoms. (I.e. “You’re black so you must know all about Black Panther.”)
- Being talked down to or assumed to be less knowledgeable about topics.
- People critiquing their cosplay/costumes without being asked.
- Presuming that marginalized members do not belong and that they should not be centered in story-telling.
- The use of social justice warrior (SJW) as a pejorative term meant to demean or belittle the idea of diversity and inclusion in fandom and storytelling.
- The use of social media to target marginalized members and their allies for harassment and abuse as an outgrowth of their participation in our community and fandom.
- Being targeted in person or through social media with acts of aggression, harassment, or as retribution for calling out harassers and abusive behavior.
This sort of behavior will not be tolerated at any Chicon 8 event, either virtual or in-person. All of us must work to call out this behavior in ourselves and others.
(This statement on racism was not written by a person of color, but was reviewed by multiple people of color (thank you all!). We are working to make our committee more diverse, and recognize that not all voices are currently represented. We welcome the opportunity to improve this document based on feedback, which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.)