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We have never heard the word “hubris” used as many times as we have this weekend in reference to the organizers behind Universal FanCon.

On Friday, April 20th, 2018, we reported that Universal FanCon suddenly postponed the convention that was slated to take place April 27th-29th. Those who supported the convention as affiliates, guests, badge holders and Kickstarter backers are still sorting through the financial confusion, with this last minute cancellation and there being no sign of a potential refund based on the official statement.

The reason for the cancellation is due to mismanagement of funds and low ticket sales. Critics blame the organizer’s hubris for the failing of the convention, as this first-year con boasted several high profile guests, such as Billy Dee Williams, Big Daddy Kane and Roxane Gay.

Many fans found out that the convention was cancelled either by their hotel reservations being dropped, through a cc’d email to all Kickstarter supporters or via Twitter.

While the event was organized as a group effort (with three other male co-founders), much of the public blame has seem to lie with Universal FanCon co-founder/ Director of Outreach, Jamie Broadnax, who is also the founder of Black Girl Nerds.

After Broadnax released her statement about her involvement in Universal FanCon, several members of the nerd community posted tweets that both questioned her character and that shared their personal experiences with the brand.

The complaints against Broadnax and the Black Girl Nerds (BGN) brand range from personal attacks from the BGN team to lack of payment for services.

One anonymous previous writer said that with working with the brand for a few years, she came to the conclusion that Broadnax had “no accountability” nor “transparency” and that she didn’t trust her leadership.

There has also been a long list of people, both former writers and those unaffiliated with the brand, that mention being blacklisted by Broadnax.

There has also been complaint that the platform didn’t often acknowledge other Black nerd media outlets when speaking with press, that work wasn’t properly credited and that the platform held a “there can only be one” narrative.

Many current writers have also recently said their farewells to the brand, some more willingly or reluctantly than others.

While there have been several negative accounts and experiences, the BGN brand still has loyal supporters.

Some of you may be wondering why these issues are just now coming to the surface.

Based on several personal accounts it seems that many writers feared being blacklisted for any opposition to the platform. Though, it seems like Black Girl Nerd’s involvement in Universal FanCon was the catalyst that many needed to share their truth.

There have been hints to even deeper issues within the community of longtime supporters for BGN that may come to light as more of the narrative is revealed.

For those looking to support or hire the previous writers of Black Girl Nerds, @jumpforjoi has graciously put together a Twitter thread of past contributors.

Have thoughts about this issue? Have additional information? Share with us on Facebook.

 

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