The Safer Space for POC at WisCon 35 is a room set aside for con attendees of color to have in-group discussions about issues surrounding speculative fiction, feminism, fandom, and convention-going. By issues I do not mean “problems” (just to be clear). There are some conversations that need to happen within a group that only concern the group, and for the second year in a row WisCon is officially acknowledging this need and providing official space for it.
The Safer Space for POC is located in the Solitaire Room — just off the lobby behind the restaurant. The location is marked in the Program Book.
Con attendees of color are free to use this room as a lounge/chill space, just as with last year. Come hang out when you’re not attending a panel, between panels, during lunch, whenever. This year the hotel is providing coffee and tea service throughout the day.
In addition to the lounge aspect, I’m also encouraging people to use the Safer Space as a place for breakout sessions, standalone discussions for small groups, and post-panel de-pressurization. Is there a conversation you’d like to have with other POC about an issue relating to SF, feminism, fandom, media, or literature? Would you like to continue a panel with a smaller, POC-only group? Then I encourage you to use the Safer Space, because this is exactly the reason it exists.
If you already know that you’d like to use the space, great! Please leave a comment with details (what your discussion/breakout session is about, time) and be sure to let people at the con know. Flyers are useful. Even if you don’t have an idea now, you may get one at the con. If so, just invite folks to the room. Even if there are already folks inside, there will probably be enough room.
This isn’t a super structured effort, just a way to ensure that people know that they can use the room for these purposes. There are no hard and fast rules. Just that the space is reserved for POC.
I’ll update this post with activities posted in the comments and there will be a list in the room at the con.
Update: Known Breakout Sessions and Discussions
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Authors of color bookswap — facilitated by Oyceter
Pre-meet-up before the big dinner in case there are antisocial people who like to dip their toes in the water first. Bonus topic: Rant about Tiger Whatevers in the media!
10:00 AM – 11:15 AM Breakout Session immediately following this presentation: Steam Around the World: Steampunk Beyond Victoriana (8:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Assembly)
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (Lunch Break): Con or Bust Meetup — Kate Nepveu, CoB organizer, will be in the space to answer questions and listen to your feedback. If you received money from Con or Bust this year, you’re also invited to stop by and meet fellow recipients (and Kate, if you’ve never done so).
5:15 PM – 6:00 PM: Breakout session immediately following this panel: FAIL! (4:00 PM – 5:15 PM: Capitol A)
As things are getting started today, this will be my last update of this post. However, if you wish to know if there are any additional breakout sessions planned, just go to the Solitaire room and look for flyers or a schedule.