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Con Or Bust: Helping Fans of Color Attend SFF Cons

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Announcement: Major Expansion of Con or Bust
wood cat
kate_nepveu wrote in con_or_bust

I am incredibly pleased to announce a major expansion of Con or Bust: after this year's WisCon, Con or Bust will provide assistance to people of color to attend the SFF cons of their choice, rather than only WisCon or other cons selected by Con or Bust.

This forthcoming change should allow Con or Bust to help both a wider range and a greater number of fans. Con or Bust was, of course, started to help fans of color attend a specific con, WisCon 33 in 2009. But now that it's in its third year, we have thought hard about the best way to expand the conventions that Con or Bust helps people attend. And we have decided against selecting particular cons, because that necessarily restricts those who can receive assistance to those who are interested in those specific cons, are able to attend at those times of year, and live within feasible travel distances. Instead, allowing fans of color to request assistance for the SFF cons of their choice allows them to make their own decisions about what is a valuable experience for themselves. It opens the possibility of helping fans attend their local cons (which WisCon is not for most people) for which their expenses would be lower, allowing Con or Bust's resources to stretch further. And it removes any suggestion that Con or Bust, as as institution, is endorsing particular cons.

For those curious how the new system will work, the basic idea is that Con or Bust will divide each year into quarters and take applications for assistance for cons falling within those quarters. This will allow people to make their plans on a reasonable time scale and also give Con or Bust the ability to prioritize requests if necessary. Please note: I will be posting more details and requesting further help in fine-tuning the logistics as we get closer to putting this in place, so I'd prefer it if we kept these comments clear of a lot of detailed discussion of the ways and means.

This year's auction will still benefit those who've requested assistance to attend this year's WisCon: people have made requests and donated on this assumption, and it would be unfair to change the purpose of this year's auction now. But any money remaining after WisCon will be put toward helping people of color attend the SFF cons of their own choosing. Indeed, until the next auction, that will be the only funds available to help people [*]—so, to give us the ability to help as many people as possible during this year, I would be extremely grateful if everyone could spread the word of Con or Bust's expansion, of all the great things being auctioned off, and of the fact that it's not too late to offer items.

[*] Unless we find someone to design a logo to adorn T-shirts and other merchandise. Artists and friends of artists, please take a look at the request for proposals. We will pay!

I am almost ridiculously excited about this new direction, which I believe will really increase Con or Bust's ability to support people of color in con-going SFF fandom. I hope the SFF community, which has been so supportive to date, shares my enthusiasm. Remember, this year's auction concludes Sunday, March 6, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. EST (GMT -5). For more information, see the detailed instructions on how to bid on auctions, how to donate, and how to request assistance for this year's WisCon. Please link to this post or the 2011 auction annoucement post and spread the word!

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This sounds great! I will post where I can.

I linked it up on Facebook on my "wall".

I'm very glad to support this and to see this expansion.

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