In creating Wakandacon we imagined a place free and unshackled from the ravages of racism; of exploitation; of discrimination; of emotional, physical, and sexual violence.
In a place where our histories are no longer narrowly delineated, we are no longer weighed down by what has been done to us. In a place where we are no longer defined by the expectations of others, we are released from preordained behaviors and predetermined futures.
What is Wakandacon?
Wakandacon is a free space where you can be a nerd about anything – pop culture, gaming, tech, womanhood, politics, or your own beautiful Blackness. A space for Black people of all types to come together, educate each other, and celebrate all of our passions. It’s an event where we can dress up, dance, connect, support each other, and celebrate the entire diaspora looking past the present and into our future.
Our Areas of Focus
Keeping with the Wakandan theme, we have identified seven areas of focus for the event.
River Tribe - Creativity
The River Tribe holds sway over the cultural rites and rituals of the people.
Wakandacon will act as a platform to amplify prominent Black creative minds, in addition to raising up bold new upstarts. As our creative works continue to shatter record after record, we will proudly proclaim that our stories are stories for everyone, and that our creative genius is unique, aspirational, and worthy to be witnessed.
Mining Tribe - Education
The Mining Tribe pulls raw elements from the ground, carefully refining them into the valuable resources that power the nation.
As we build the future leaders of the world, lack of access to quality education threatens to cut us off from the surrounding world. We cannot survive, let alone thrive, without creating opportunities to continually elevate and grow our community from an intellectual standpoint.
Wakandacon will be dedicated to offering a platform for thought-provoking educational content.
Panther Tribe - Technology
The Panther Tribe guides the people with wisdom, strength of achievement, and the bold application of technology.
Only ~5% of engineers, scientists, or designers are black. Non-representation in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) ultimately slants the design and development of new technology if only certain viewpoints, concerns, and needs are satisfied. Diversity in technology becomes increasingly important as we transition from mouse interfaces, past touch interaction, and into augmented and immersive virtual reality. If we are to avoid the mistakes of the past, it is imperative that we all have a hand in creating the worlds of the future.
Wakandacon is committed to creating and supporting a pipeline to drive black students into careers in STEAM.
Border Tribe - Outreach
The Border Tribe stewards a global network, and serves to connect the people with the outside world.
We are advocates of growing a stronger community for people of color. We want to create a place where people can come and make lasting connections – not only to other attendees of the convention, but to the community at large. It takes a village, but it also takes just one person to change someone’s life.
Wakandacon will be the biggest family reunion for all black people – a place where we can all come together and learn more about our sisters and brothers in the diaspora.
The Jabari - Afro-Futurism
The Jabari embrace heritage, but remain unafraid to set aside differences and work alongside others to seek new horizons.
Let’s be done with the old question of “are you Black enough?” Blackness is now an audacious, beautiful spectrum, and we aim to shift what it means to be Black - culturally, personally, professionally, and expressively. No matter what, your journey and experience is unique and valuable, and it shapes the culture.
No matter who you are, there is a place for you and your voice at Wakandacon. We welcome you to find your tribe.
Merchant Tribe - Prosperity
The Merchant tribe governs the wealth of the people, and forswears external trade to cultivate internal prosperity.
If there is not a seat at the table, we will bring our own. If there’s not a table, we will build one ourselves. In crafting our Wakandacon Marketplace, we hope to do our small part to stimulate an economy that’s built on celebrating black excellence and giving back to the community.
We hope that you not only discover new products with which to fall in love, but also open your eyes to new opportunities. In addition to economic growth, we hope to spread awareness of charities around the Chicago area and nationwide, and to encourage us all to support them directly.
The Dora Milaje - Feminism
The Dora Milaje defend the people with courage and honor.
Women are standing up in solidarity against discrimination and exploitation. It’s important that women of all types are represented in this renaissance, and Wakandacon celebrates and supports the multitude of strong women around the world.