One of the things that people who rant about lack of diversity at conventions often miss is that attendance at conventions is not cheap. It is necessarily not cheap, because you have to hire the venue. But the fact that it is not cheap means that those sections of society with less money will be less well represented amongst the membership. To get a more diverse membership, therefore, you have to find a way to help those in financial hardship to attend.
That is exactly what this year’s NASFiC, Detcon 1, is doing. The convention is being held in Detroit, a place famously down on its luck right now. As they note:
The city of Detroit has some of the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the entire country. It is also over 80% African-American.
So the convention committee has launched an appeal for funds to help local fans attend the event. Each $55 donated means one free membership for a local fan. And the committee has pledged to match donations up to a total of $550.
Further details, including instructions on how to donate, and how to apply for one of the free memberships, are available here.