If you’ve ever met me on Hollywood Boulevard, cosplaying Princess Leia while petitioning for #AStarForCarrie, it may have gone something like this:
Princess Leia: Help Carrie Fisher get a star?
Signer: Yes! I can’t believe she doesn’t have one already!
Princess Leia: I know, right? I was so surprised, I came back with a sign and a petition and I haven’t stopped since! Please print, sign, and date! We are a nonprofit startup where cosplayers petition for women’s right’s issues!
Signer: That’s wonderful!
Princess Leia: Thank you! We have a second petition if you’re interested, #OccupyFamilyGuy is a petition to get an all-female written episode of Family Guy in honor of Carrie Fisher’s prolific writing talent!
Signer: (laughing) That’s hilarious! I’d love to sign!
Princess Leia: Great! Would you be willing to share a picture on social media with the hashtags, help us get the word out about the causes and the nonprofit?
(We take pictures together)
Princess Leia: Thanks so much, please take a picture of our social media page so you can tag us when you share!
Signer: No problem!
Princess Leia: Thanks again for signing! Would you like to contribute to the nonprofit fund? If you don’t have cash, we accept PayPal, Venmo, and Cashapp.
Signer: Of course! This is a great cause, keep up the good work!
Princess Leia: Thank you, and may the force be with you!
I’m not using the royal “We” when I talk about the nonprofit. The past six months of my life have been occupied by the #AStarForCarrie project, which has not only accomplished a monumental effort in collecting thousands of hand-signatures on petitions benefitting women’s rights, it has helped me survive. I say “we” because people tend to trust organizations more than individuals and I don’t feel like I’m alone in this endeavor. As of last night, we have 6,606 hand signatures on the #AStarForCarrie petition and 2,239 on the #OccupyFamilyGuy petition.
Everyone who signed the petition is part of the movement, which honors Carrie Fisher’s legacy of positive female empowerment. I’m not the only fan who’s life has been saved by Star Wars, as evidenced by the multitudes who have participated in #AStarForCarrie by signing, sharing, donating, and keeping me going when I felt like giving up. We are part of a family, an alliance, which leaves no fan behind. I believe Carrie would be proud to say, it’s not just her star, it’s our star.
What happens when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce comes to its senses and awards our beloved Space Mama a star on the Walk of Fame, thus reuniting the Star Wars Golden Trio on the sidewalk? Will all issues of gender inequality evaporate? Will we have perfect harmony between all genders and races, holding hands and singing songs around #AStarForCarrie? Nerfherder, please…
In our lifetimes, there will always be feminist work to do. The structural inequities which allowed Carrie Fisher to be overlooked will not be dismantled by a star… But, it will be a step in the right direction. The #AStarForCarrie project will be moving forward as a nonprofit startup while fundraising on a corporate level and continuing to collect signatures until our goals are met.
Todd Fisher, Carrie’s brother, has lifted a huge burden from the movement by generously pledging to pay the $50,000 application fee for the star application, so all donations to the #AStarForCarrie project now benefit the nonprofit. As soon as the incorporation fees for the 501c3 are raised and the nonprofit is registered with the IRS, funds will be utilized to hire additional artists at $20/hour. Cosplayers, costumers, and graphic designers deserve to be paid a living wage despite the nonprofit status. We are in the process of crafting a grant proposal to present to corporate donors. Once the #AStarForCarrie project is self-sustaining, funds can be raised for additional causes related to equalizing women’s rights.
Have you ever been confronted by a person holding a clipboard outside of a grocery store, asking you to save the environment? Noble as their cause may be, would you be more likely to talk to them if they were cosplaying a Jedi? That’s the innovative aspect of the #AStarForCarrie project. Cosplay and street petitioning have been practiced for centuries, but we are the first to put them together. Many fundraising organizations pay minimum wage plus bonuses, often losing valuable candidates unable to meet high quotas. We will pay a living wage plus quarterly performance bonuses. Envision a legion of well-paid cosplaying petitioners raising awareness for women’s causes and you’ll see the future of the #AStarForCarrie project.
Please visit our Donate page if you would like to contribute to the crowdfunding!