Universal FanCon Celebrates Diversity and All Who Love Pop Culture!
The inaugural Universal FanCon (FanCon) is the first large-scale, 24-hour, inclusive event that celebrates the diversity of fans, the diversity of fandom, the true needs of those who love pop culture and a celebration of the differences that make us strong. Hosted at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD, April 27-29, 2018, FanCon's mission is to create a sense of belonging by providing authentic connections and experiences through fan-centric parties, programs, panels and partners.
As an important part of this mission, FanCon is building accessibility and education into every aspect of the programming. With its engaging, interactive festival atmosphere, FanCon is the place for everyone who is a fan!
"Universal Fan Con is more than just a new Geek convention," said Co-Founder Robert Butler. "It's an event where all fans of pop culture are being celebrated, represented and included every step of the way: through our planning, our attendees, programs, parties, celebrity guests and unique experiences."
FanCon got its start during a dinner conversation in 2016 between Butler, his partners in the wildly popular The Black Geeks podcast, and Jamie Broadnax, founder of Black Girl Nerds.
At this year's FanCon you can expect Celebrity Meet-and-Greets, Photo/Autograph Opportunities, Lightsaber Dueling Academy, Music Concerts, Comedy Show hosted by Orlando Jones, 24-hour Arcade and eSport Gaming Tournaments, Tabletop Gaming, "American Gods" Show Panel, Kids STEM, and other programming for gaming, comics, anime, movies, TV, music, and all things fandom!
Special Guests Highlighted In This Video (in order of appearance) Include:
Aydian Dowling is a Transgender Speaker and Activist. Getting his start on YouTube in 2009, with over 5 million channel views, Aydian has been at the forefront of the Transgender movement today. Aydian broke into the main circuit by being name 2015s Mens Health Ultimate Guy Reader Choice, landing him to be the First Transgender Man on the cover of a main stream magazine. Aydian also appeared twice in 2015 on the Ellen Degeneres show, first sharing his own personal journey and second to announce his shared Mens Health cover. Aydian has also been named in OUT100, received a Feminist Press Outstanding Achievement Award. Aydian continues his work by providing resource though his Non Profit Point of Pride, as well as being an optimist voice and leader for those struggling today.
Yael (who prefers it pronounced Yell) is a television addict, nerd, and proud plus size host. Her special brand of conversational hosting style can be seen on after-shows – Killjoys, Arrow, The Flash, Doctor Who, and Law & Order: SVU, among many others – AfterBuzzTV's short-lived LGBT show, Gay Weekly Roundtable, and at ComicCons around the world, such as MCM London, ClexaCon, HellaCon SF, FanExpo Toronto, SDCC, and more.
A frequent guest on ScreenJunkies, Yael also writes a body positivity blog, TheFatGirlShow.com, and has been published on POPSUGAR. Her entertainment news site, Yael.TV prides itself on being a voice for the fans, featuring many interviews with celebrities and movie reviews. When not watching TV for work, Yael can be found watching TV for fun.
Demore Barnes (actor), Steve Blum (voice of "Wolverine"), Big Daddy Kane, Bit Brigade, Mehcad Brooks, Kim Chi, DJ-Jo (DJ), DJ NightCrawler (DJ/musician), Terri Doty (voice actress), Ducky Dynamo (DJ/musical artist), Jamal Igle (comic artist/writer)...
Yuriko Yamaguchi has enjoyed much success over her career as a seiyuu. Her extensive list of credits include work on some of the most famous anime titles in the industry such as the Neon Genesis Evangelion series (Ritsuko Akagi), One Piece (Nico Robin), Full Metal Alchemist (Sarah Rockbell), and Pokémon (Nurse Joy). Yamaguchi-san has lent her vocal talents to an impressive 70+ anime titles, including such others as Tenchi in Tokyo, Shaman King, and Eureka Seven.
Victoria Gouletas sensibly waited until after a Nor'easter had passed through their Connecticut town before venturing out to check for damage to her family's home. What she could not have expected was that a tree limb, weakened by the storm, would suddenly fall on her, forever altering the course of life for her and her family.
It was just one of thousands of new videos that are posted every day... but this one was different. Quickly, the story shifted into high gear and exploded as most viral videos do. It swept across the globe - 50,000… 300,000 … 1,000,000+ views - and overnight, Adam and Jared were social media stars.
A new baby is on the way and Trans Activist and motivational Speaker Aydian Dowling, and his wife, Jenilee, are clearly focused on planning for the future. This involves the need to think through how all the new things and new experiences they are going through will fit into their already crazy lifestyle.
At 15, Caly Bevier put her life on hold to battle ovarian cancer. Now, at 18, with her music propelling her forward, Caly is ready to release her new single, "Head Held High", and leave cancer in her dust.
Sonya del Gallego is a small, powerfully built, cheerful woman who doesn't exactly fit the profile of what one imagines when they think of a sumo wrestler. Not surprisingly, she is defiant in challenging gender stereotypes, and is an advocate for being yourself, regardless of whether it fits society's standards of "normal".
There's a bunch of teenagers swarming round a residential home, coming and going in a flurry and making a racket. Out of control party? Vandalism? Actually, these kids are volunteers, providing home repairs for elderly, disabled or low income residents in a small town, and trying to bring hope to their lives while making some lasting connections.
It's a given that adopting a dog from a shelter is a roll of the dice. There is typically little information about what that animal has been through and for how long, and the best you can do when you visit is take in what you see, hear, and feel and make your decision.