Chicago Nerds Talk Diversity, Discrimination and Community Building at C2E2

I am looking forward to this!

The Chicago Nerd Social Club (CNSC) is proudly sponsoring two panels highlighting issues of diversity, representation and sexism in geek culture, featuring C2E2 guests and local nerd community members as speakers, at ReedPOP’s Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo, April 25-27.

“Opening the Clubhouse Doors: Creating Inclusive Geek Communities” will discuss what “diversity” in geek culture means, what it looks like, and why it’s necessary. As visibility of fans, creators and organizers from marginalized communities increases, geek communities are having more discussions about diversity, tokenism and re-examining just how “welcoming” geek spaces are. Featuring Hugo-award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal; author and Speculative Literature Foundation founder Mary Anne Mohanraj; local gamer and gaming legal scholar Karlyn Meyer; CNSC Founder/President Jeff Smith; DC writer for Batman: Zero Year Scott Snyder; and CNSC Board Member and Geek Melange blogger, Michi Trota. This panel is scheduled for Friday, April 25, 6:30-7:30, room S401CD.


“Glass Ceilings, Missing Stairs & Gatekeepers: Geeks Still Deal With Sexism” will look at issues women in geek culture are commonly confronted with. Why is con harassment still a problem? What other barriers are women facing in geek spaces? Isn’t talking about it just perpetuating the problem? Find out why talking about sexism and fighting for geeky gender equality is still needed. Featuring local geek feminism speakers comic artist Carlye Frank; Challenge by Geek blogger Laura Koroski; writer and gamer Kate Lansky; singer/songwriter and Raks Geek producer Dawn Xiana Moon; STEM multimedia expert Susheela; lighting designer Erin Tipton; and CNSC Board Member and Geek Melange blogger, Michi Trota. This panel is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2:45-3:45pm, room S401AB.


These panels are the latest installments by the organizers of 2013’s highly successful “Exorcising the Spectre of the Fake Geek Girl” panel, and 2012’s well-attended “The Geek Girl and the Artist”. Several of the “Exorcising the Spectre of the Fake Geek Girl” panelists continued the C2E2 2013 discussion at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2013 with similar success, and have presented further iterations of the discussion in venues such as the University of Chicago. For more information, contact Michi Trota at

The Chicago Nerd Social Club is founded on the idea that nerds are social people and hosts a number of nerd-friendly events in the greater Chicago area. Who gets to be a nerd (or geek, or dork, etc.)? CNSC believes it’s anyone who wants to be, regardless of ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion or political affiliation. Whether you’re a hardcore fan, a casual gamer or a newbie who can’t tell Klingon from Quenya, all are welcome! We create fun, inclusive, safe spaces that are open to nerds from all walks of life and all levels of fandom – neither abusive language nor harassment of any kind are tolerated. If following Wheaton’s Law doesn’t appeal to you, as a wise old Jedi once said, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” For more information, contact

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