Racism and paganism

Glenn Turner, here, I’m the founder, organizer and sponsor of PantheaCon. Let me first off send a huge apology to any Pagans of Color who felt pain during PantheaCon. The conference cares. I care. I will stand by you as we in our part of our society work through the racism that has pervaded it. It is real.

With the dawning of a New Civil Rights movement this is the question for our times. I’m glad this issue is front and center. I’m sorry to hear that Pagans of Color did not feel welcome at PantheaCon. That was not our intention. However being able to call-out racism when it happens is a great start in dealing with long ignored situations. I want to especially thank Jamie (jamie@pantheacon.com) our head of Programming for making space available for this hot topic. When I finally heard about this on Monday afternoon, I was confident that she did and said the right things.

PantheaCon has always (for 21 years) been open to all. We have made an organized effort, especially in the last five years to reach out to LGBTA and non-European based groups and to provide much needed space for them in the pagan community. I was delighted to see more non-white faces. Paganism is a very diverse community and the Bay Area has always been a magnet for diversity. People come here to find a safe space. PantheaCon will continue to stand up for justice for all, and make all efforts to provide safe space.
I won’t go into the several blogs that have focused on this issue, but here are links to them:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daughtersofeve/2015/02/pantheacon-2015-pain-healing-work-allyship-in-action-and-coalition-building/
http://miniver.blogspot.com/2015/02/an-open-letter.html
http://www.thorncoyle.com/blog/2015/02/18/truth-joy-pcon-2015/
http://paganactivist.com/2015/02/17/racism-and-activism-at-pantheacon/

The igniting situation was a satirical newsletter formatted like our Daily Oracle. It happened to be the least “funny” of any in past years. In particular there was jab at a long time Wiccan group CoG (Covenant of the Goddess) that published a stupid and ill considered response to #BlackLivesMatter . Local branches of CoG have repudiated that statement and insisted that the National board retract it. Here is a link to the improved CoG response letter: http://covenantpio.blogspot.com/2015/01/update-cogs-response-to-blacklivesmatter.html

The Northern California Local Council (NCLC) has published its own statement.  http://www.conjure.com/COG/blacklivesmatter.html I wish it had been posted at that hospitality room. As you can imagine this is a huge problem churning up inside CoG.

As the founder and organizer of PantheaCon for all these 21 years, I have been asked, or rather called-out to answer for CoG and its presence at PantheaCon. CoG has a hospitality room in conjunction with 2 other Wiccan groups. This puts me on the spot as I am also a founder of CoG and am currently its local first officer. Let me make it very clear that NCLC was horrified by the National board’s statement. Look at our Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/pages/Covenant-of-the-Goddess-Northern-California-Local-Council/136932419699946 for the last few months. We support #BlackLivesMatter! We apologize for any pain National CoG has caused Pagans of Color. If I hadn’t been working so hard on PantheaCon, I might have been more involved.

For those who want me and PantheaCon to ban or target offending people or groups – we will do so only if we determine that it is an entrenched problem with a person or group. We have a strong anti-harassment and anti-racism policy. Best of all would be for the offending group to learn and join in the development of Safe Space for all. I hope that next year we can have some productive panels and discussions about bigotry and racism, and have a dialogue with CoG. Learning and moving beyond previous error is our goal.

Is there a theme for next year’s Con in all this? I welcome your comments, ideas and suggestions. glenn@ancientways.com

Blessings and healing for all,
Glenn Turner
Founder, sponsor, organizer of PantheaCon

Welcome to PantheaCon 2015

poncov15February 13 (Noon) – 16 (3:30PM), 2015
Pay onsite: Full weekend $80, day rate $40, $20 evening only. We have
over 200 presentations.

Latest News (including schedule changes) via the “Daily Oracle” (Posted Here)  Updated Moonday 11:00

Registration for PantheaCon Membership opens at 8 AM every day and is at the Convention Center Entry on the ground floor farthest from the hotel elevators. After you register and pick up your badge, you will receive a complete program guide, pocket program, and up to date changes. Look each day for our PantheaCon Daily Oracle for the latest about changes to the program and upcoming evening parties. The shuttle starts on Friday for the nearby hotels.
Badges will be required for participation in any presentation or for admittance to any official PantheaCon party floors. Badges will be checked. Please wear your badge at all times. Lost badges will have to be purchased again, but your money will be refunded if you find the old one. [See badge policy]
The Vendor room does not require a badge.
A short Opening Ritual with Glenn Turner and friends starts the Conference at noon (Hotel room check in is typically at 3 PM, but bags can be left with the hotel bell service people.) Then at 1:30 PM the Con gets going with lots of wonderful presentations.

See you there.
Glenn Turner, Ringmaster

Double Tree hotel food options

1. Cash Sales/ Concession on the foyer above Registration will have a selection of sandwiches, healthy snacks and small hot meals.
Friday-Sunday 11am-11pm
Monday  11am-2pm
2. Room service with Dine-In Menu Daily 6am – 10pm.
3. Sprigs serves Breakfast, lunch and dinner starting at about 6am till 1am.
4. Spencer’s (a very expensive restaurant). Lunch Menu, Dinner Menu, Dessert Menu
Friday Lunch: 11:00-2pm
Dinner: 5pm-10pm
Saturday         Dinner only 5pm-10pm – (Valentine’s Day – By Reservation Only, but Not Guaranteed)
Sunday        Dinner only 5pm-10pm
Monday Lunch: 11:00-2pm,  Dinner: 5pm-10pm
5. Sushi bar
Friday                       5pm-10pm
Saturday                    12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 10pm  Tentative based on demand
Sunday                      12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 10pm  Tentative based on demand
Monday                       5pm – 10pm
6. Lobby Bar (2050 Lounge)
Friday                       4pm-1am     Tentative based on demand
Saturday                    12pm – 1am   Tentative based on demand
Sunday                      12pm – 1am   Tentative based on demand
Monday                      4pm-1am     Tentative based on demand
7. Starbucks  Thursday,  Friday, Saturday, Sunday  6am – 10 pm, and Monday  6am – 2pm
8. Coffee Cart (near Lobby Bar)  6am – 11am