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Black Lives Matter at Red Feather Roleplaying

Dear RFR Community,

Black Lives Matter. Red Feather Roleplaying stands in solidarity with all those outraged by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other Black victims of police brutality. As residents of a country built on the exploitation of people of color, it is incumbent upon us to acknowledge our own racism and work to counter the narratives that White Supremacy would have us accept without question.

LARP as a hobby has a problematic history with racism all its own to grapple with, including infamous Blackface “dark elves,” rampant cultural appropriation (especially of Asian, Native, and Romani people), clumsily written “fantasy” racial oppression scenarios, and the co-opting of historical reenactment by White Supremacists. Additionally, LARP comes with a high financial cost of participation, and although this can be a barrier for anyone, systemic racism means this may disproportionately affect people of color. We are conscious of how these and other issues, such as the difficulty of entering spaces that are already disproportionately white, systemically drive people of color away from LARP as a hobby.

We need to do better. One of Red Feather Roleplaying’s core values is “Fellowship: It is the responsibility of all participants to foster an environment in which discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated.” We stand by the statements made by our game directors here and here. We back those statements with concrete actions taken as an organization, because statements of support and solidarity with people of color are not sufficient. We therefore outline the following steps we are taking to further the cause of Fellowship and make all of our events safer and more inclusive:

  1. To remove financial barriers for participating in our LARPs, we are officially instituting a scholarship program to offer free and reduced price event passes, which will partially be funded from voluntary community donations and partially from RFR’s own operating funds.

  2. We will provide educational materials and communication for the members of our current safety program, the Mark of the Red Feather, to specifically include anti-racism as a core part of the program. We are committing to offering a forum, facilitated by the Ombudsperson, on anti-racism education and allyship for Mark of the Red Feather participants before the end of the summer. These educational materials will come from writers of color to better amplify those voices and center their narratives - interested readers can check out these preliminary examples.

  3. The Board is forming a Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion to specifically address barriers to participation for people of color, be they logistical, cultural, setting-related, or otherwise, and eliminating those barriers. We recognize that this task does not end, ever, and the Task Force will be created with and operate with that understanding. The point of contact for initial organization of the Task Force is our Ombudsperson, Kep, who can be reached at kep@redfeatherroleplaying.com.

  4. Lastly, and most importantly, we resolve to always listen with humility to the voices of marginalized people in our community and strive to amplify those voices wherever possible. Anyone with suggestions or concerns can reach out to us at any time; rfr-board@googlegroups.com is the most reliable way of contacting the entire board, Game Directors, and Ombudsperson. At the same time, we recognize that the burden of improving our organization must not fall disproportionately on those most impacted by racist systems, and we will prioritize self-education and proactive allyship.

We know that there is a lot more work to do. We know that these things are only a start. But they are important and necessary for RFR to be the community we want it to be.

Joy Perkinson

President, Red Feather Roleplaying

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Ombudsperson

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I want to clarify that there are three links to materials in the above statement. One per word of “these preliminary examples.” I missed that at first and can see someone else missing it, too.

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For anyone looking to contact their representatives (by email or phone), one of our fabulous players (@JsterJ) put together this list of contact information for officials for the districts many of us live in. If your district isn’t listed, we can look into adding it.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IRTinPHHTRhzv8KtzWeIU-ozup3sayu7NyqdudfLl6o/edit?fbclid=IwAR3GfhDq2KFMHuqN2ychmobIh_1QXVcd9ElnI6m6K1xoFxUYM-p2DnD41Kg#gid=0