Jamie Broadnax Tackles Diversity With 'Universal Fan Con'

Black Girl Nerd's Own Jamie Broadnax Creates 'Universal Fan Con' To Celebrate Diversity

Black Girl Nerd's Own Jamie Broadnax Creates 'Universal Fan Con' To Celebrate Diversity

We love geeks, nerds and weirdoes here at Okayplayer. So, when an ultimate representer of the community steps out to do something big, it is hard to ignore and we definitely want to be one of the first to support. Jamie Broadnax, The Black Girl Nerds creator, has partnered up with The Black Geeks to create the Universal Fan Con (or UFC). In a bid to tackle the growing lack of diversity in the geek community, the first annual UFC will take place in Baltimore, Maryland on April 27, 2018 to bring gaming, anime, comics, TV and movies to the Baltimore Convention Center.

“UFC hopes to fill the void of diversity and give fans the chance to see the geek community through a diverse set of eyes,” Robert Butler, CEO of The Black Geeks, said in a released statement. A large scale multi-fandom convention experience, the UFC will be the first to be dedicated mainly to inclusion. “We felt that [this was] the only way to ensure that as many groups as possible were represented,” Butler said. Everything from science fiction to fantasy to pop culture will be on display as UFC will serve as a “source for edgy and probing original commentary.”

In addition to tackling the issues of diversity, the UFC will also be a 24-hour convention. This means that all day and night there will be a panel or event running for the masses to participate in. “The team and I are always looking for ways to incorporate technology into UFC,” Butler said. “We want to employ new technology that will make long lines a thing of the past.” One idea explores using geofencing technologies that could lead to shorter waits in line and a seamless check-in process.

Butler, also a disabled Marine vet, has the goal to incorporate more tools for geeks with disabilities, too. “It’s incredibly important to the Black Geeks and Black Girl Nerds that everyone, and I mean everyone, feel as though they have a place at this Con,” Butler said. The UFC Twitter page currently has almost 1,100 followers on it page. Expect that number to grow as the word continues to get out about the newest, amazing and most inclusive convention in the country. “This is going to be amazing. I can feel it in my bones,” one UFC Twitter follower tweeted.

With an official Kickstarter on and popping to raise funds, UFC has earned over $5,000 from 106 backers with the goal of making $25,000 to assist with costs associated with creating the UFC experience. “We did not expect to gain popularity so fast,” Jamie Broadnax said in the press release. So, add onto the celebration by supporting UFC’s Kickstarter here and follow @UniversalFanCon for more news about the oncoming convention.

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