Because of the HPA, I am an Activist

In the Words of Wizard Activists

Fandom Forward
3 min readDec 12, 2020


Image: a polaroid photo of Sara smiling by a creek in a mossy forest. The photo is labelled “Sara Mortensen, HPA Volunteer”

I found the HPA at the exact right time in my life. I was in college and at that point in life where I really needed to start thinking about what I wanted to do after graduation. The world of Tumblr had recently opened up my eyes to concepts like feminism, the realities of police brutality, and, also, the wonders of fandom. I was understanding more about the world outside of my immediate experiences, I was forming identity and opinions, and I was seeing the places where help was needed — but I didn’t know how I fit in, and what I could do. That’s where the HPA came in.

I started volunteering for the HPA. I could never have imagined that this would be one of the most important decisions I would make in my life, but it really was.

Over the last 5.5 years, the HPA has helped me in so many ways. From day one, the HPA taught me the importance of community and the value of enthusiasm. I’ve learned how to manage other people with humility and care. I’ve learned what it means to make mistakes as an activist, and how to grow from those mistakes. Heck, I’ve learned how to identify as an activist in the first place.

I started my journey at the HPA as a Mental Health Researcher and over the years was offered many opportunities for leadership. This experience has been invaluable to me not only in my career but also in my personal life. I’ve learned how to organize people around a common goal, and I use that skill everyday. I’ve achieved my goal of working full-time at a non-profit, and the leadership skills I’ve learned because of the HPA have undoubtedly allowed that organization to have a greater impact as well. These skills have also given me the confidence to inspire those I know personally — my family, friends, and coworkers — to join me in activism.

If you ask me, this is what the HPA does best: training people, whether they be volunteers, supporters, or social media followers, to become compassionate activists and leaders and then sending them off into the world to inspire incredible change.

Because of the HPA, I found a group of the best friends I could ever ask for. Because of the HPA, I’ve learned to speak up for what I believe and for what I know is right. Because of the HPA, I know that whatever steps I’m going to take next in my career will be with the goal of making the world better. Because of the HPA, I am an activist who is ever-growing, listens with an open heart, and tries her best to find joy, even in the darkest of times.

All of this is why I’m giving back to the HPA this year, and why I donate monthly to the HPA.

Everyone the HPA touches comes away better equipped to change the world for the better, and we need that now more than ever. Will you join me in supporting the HPA?

Magically yours,


In the Words of Wizard Activists is a series written by HPA members about how the HPA has impacted their lives. This edition was written by Sara Mortensen, volunteer Campaigns Manager for the HPA. Find more from Sara at her website.

Image: The HPA Logo — a heart with rays of light coming out and a lightning bolt across the middle, all under a ribbon that reads “The Harry Potter Alliance”



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