SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FanX® Salt Lake Comic Convention™ (http://FanXSaltLake.com/),
as part of its ongoing efforts to make fandom events more accessible to
and enjoyable for all members of the community, has taken further steps
to prevent and address harassment with the formal launch of the
Community Council on Harassment and Safety, which is housed and
administered through the League
of Utah Volunteers (LUV). FanX is also pleased to announce the 10
founding members of the Council, who are further described below.
The Council will immediately begin its work to: review issues of
education and policy leading up to the FanX 2018 conference, September
6-8; ensure the recently updated Universal
Zero Tolerance Harassment Policy is as strong and effective as
possible; and establish guidelines and processes for investigating and
responding to reports of harassment or bullying at FanX events. It will
also support FanX’s recently announced partnership with the Utah
Attorney General’s Office, which will serve as the front line of support
for any harassment issues during the September 6-8 event via a 24/7
The mission of the Community Council is to prevent and address any
issues of bullying, abuse, assault, and harassment of any kind at all
current and future FanX events and advise on any community complaints
about the organizations that manage, produce, and participate with FanX.
The Council also intends to provide assistance to many other
participating events throughout the community.
The Council will accomplish this mission through policy and education
with a focus on prevention and deterrence of any harassment before it
starts. It will oversee the investigation of any incidents reported and
will recommend appropriate penalties when policy violations occur. Upon
request, the Council may also serve in an advisory role on the
suitability of prospective guests or panelists whose behavior or
statements relative to harassment, inclusiveness, or other potentially
divisive issues may lead to concerns as to whether they should be
invited or allowed to attend.
“As fandom and other community events become larger and more complex,
education and policy become more important, and questions of how to
respond to issues concerning inappropriate behavior, including
harassment, bullying, and other policy violations, become more
challenging to address,” said FanX Co-Founders Dan Farr and Bryan
Brandenburg. “Through the Council, we are engaging a set of diverse,
smart, and specialized people to give an independent, experienced, and
expert perspective on individual situations as well as on the policy
decisions we make.”
The Council’s founding members include:
1. Rev. Marian Edmonds Allen is Executive Director at Parity,
a national LGBTQ faith affirming nonprofit, is a co-founder of the LGBTQ
Youth Continuum of Care, and has previously served as executive director
to the OUTreach Resource Centers and the Utah Pride Center. She has been
recognized for her decades of work with and for LGBTQ youth, including
as a Petra Fellow and the 2014 Q Salt Lake Person of the Year.
2. Valerie Cameron-Walker is a strong
community voice as the Morning Radio Show Host for B98.7, as well as
an event management expert and an activist for the geek community,
volunteers, and sexual harassment victims. She has raised money for
several years for Over the Edge Salt Lake by rappelling 13 stories over
the Maverick Building in Salt Lake in support of the YWCA and Salt Lake
Department of Justice to support victims of domestic violence.
3. Jay Whittaker is popular comedian, actor, Air Force
veteran, and FanX® Salt Lake Comic Convention™ moderator and panelist.
As host of the Incredibly
Vocal Minority podcast and regular panelist on numerous others, he
is a consistent voice and advocate for diversity and unwaveringly
dedicated to keeping the geek community safe.
4. Kerry Jackson has worked in radio for over 30 years,
including as a host of X96’s popular “Radio
From Hell” and the “Geek
Show Podcast.” He is also a cancer survivor and a long established
and well respected “geek” in the community.
5. LaShel Shaw is an
attorney at Parr Brown Gee Loveless in Salt Lake City
specializing in entertainment and media law. She graduated magna cum
laude from Notre Dame University, where she worked on issues of
cyberbullying, and is an officer of the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion
and member of its Organizational Inclusion Committee.
6. Erika Lynn Sabrowski is a well-known personality in the
local convention community and head of all volunteers for the League
of Utah Volunteers, a role she has also fulfilled for FanX® Salt
Lake Comic Convention™ for several years prior to the formation of LUV.
She is also a cancer survivor who is known for applying her entire heart
to every program or project she enters.
7. Debra Daniels is the Director of the Women’s
Resource Center at the University of Utah, Assistant VP Women’s
Enrollment Initiatives, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with areas
of expertise that include sexual assault, domestic violence, diversity,
and social justice issues. In addition to her experience with the
University and over 25 years of experience in the field of social work,
she is the recipient of the Linda K. Amos Award for Distinguished
Service to Women of the University of Utah, the YWCA Outstanding
Achievement Award, and the Susa Young Gates Award from the Utah Women’s
Political Caucus for contributions to women and human rights.
8. Rachel Burt, a certified Professional in Human
Resources (PHR) and SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), has more than
15 years of experience in Human Resources with particular experience in
sexual discrimination and harassment issues as well as sensitivity in
business and employment relations. In addition to her other efforts
related to these issues, she has recently been involved in conducting
and leading sensitivity training sessions for FanX.
9. Debra Jenson is a professor of journalism and
communications at Utah State University, a member of the board of Ordain
Women, and a founder of WeExist.LGBT,
an organization that works to make schools more welcoming for LGBT+
students and their families and to end the practice of conversion
therapy within the U.S. She has worked professionally with Special
Olympics Utah and other organizations to advocate for people with
disabilities, has given a TEDx talk entitled “The
Comic Universe Belongs to Everyone,” and is a regular FanX® Salt
Lake Comic Convention™ panelist on issues of diversity.
10. Kiki Furia has been called “your nerdy BFF” and
passionately pursues and promotes positivity in the nerd/geek community.
When she is not cosplaying, she is gaming, podcasting with the SLC
Sitdown podcast, and a frequent panelist for conventions and other
podcasts. As a consultant for quality programming in afterschool
programs, she holds multiple degrees with emphases in youth and
community services and in creating social change for arts and cultural
As previously noted, FanX will also be providing training for all FanX
2018 volunteers with the help of UCASA
(Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault), the Salt
Lake County Mayor’s Office of Diversity Inclusion, and other
harassment and sensitivity experts.
FanX 2018 is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated conventions of
the year with celebrity attendees including Ben
Van Dyke, David
David Frank, Kevin
O’Hara and Robby
Jo Johnson, Steven
Wesley Shipp, Vic
Mignogna, and Mark
Sheppard. In addition to these special guests, FanX 2018 will
also feature more than 400 hours of panels, photo ops, autographs,
vendors, artists, best-selling authors, and more, with many additional
guest and show announcements anticipated between now and September.
For more information about FanX® Salt Lake Comic Convention™ 2018
or to purchase 2018 tickets visit www.fanxsaltlake.com.
ABOUT FANX SALT LAKE COMIC CONVENTION
FanX® Salt Lake Comic Convention™, The Ultimate FanXperience™, is
formerly known as Salt Lake Comic Con. It is organized by Dan Farr
Productions (DFP), in partnership with ABC4/CW30 of the Nexstar
Broadcasting Group, and was co-founded by Dan Farr and Bryan
Brandenburg. DFP is an event and marketing group devoted to organizing
events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium
celebrities and brands in the pop culture arena including FanXperience
shows with Pop
Life Asia. DFP is dedicated to producing spectacular celebrations of
popular culture that lead the market in providing exceptional and
rewarding experiences for our consumers, fans, celebrity guests, vendors
and partners. Find out more at: www.fanxsaltlake.com
Note to Editors:
FanX® Salt Lake Comic Convention™ website
Master Guest List