DisCon III Publishes Apology About Fanhistory Error

DisCon III today announced on Facebook and Twitter an apology for overlooking Fred Duarte’s role as the first Latinx Worldcon Vice-Chair, signal-boosting the correction already made to the original press release.

The Facebook version reads:

An apology and correction:
We mistakenly identified Lauren Raye Snow as the first Latinx to serve as Worldcon Vice Chair. This is incorrect, as Fred Duarte served as a Vice Chair of LoneStarCon 2, the 55th Worldcon. We sincerely apologize for our error.

“I’m saddened that my announcement as the first Latinx VIce Chair of a Worldcon was incorrect and overshadowed the brilliant legacy and work of Fred Duarte,” Lauren Raye Snow said. “I sincerely hope my work can carry the banner raised by Fred forward for Latinx fans.”

Karen Meschke, chair of LoneStarCon 2 where Duarte was a Vice-Chair, had previously asked DisCon III to correct the fanhistorical note in their press release about their own vice-chairs and also announce the update in social media, which now has been done.

Facebook: (See full text above)


DisCon III Corrects Press Release to Acknowledge Fred Duarte

DisCon III has updated its “DisCon III Announces Vice Chairs” press release with the correction requested by LoneStarCon 2 chair Karen Meschke in her guest post of October 19 “Meschke Calls on DisCon III to Correct Fanhistorical Note in Press Release”.

This is a screencap of the added note (click for larger image):

Meschke Calls on DisCon III to Correct Fanhistorical Note in Press Release

Guest Post by Karen Meschke, Chair, LoneStarCon 2 (1997 Worldcon): DisCon III made a major error in their Press Release (dated September 3) by overlooking the contributions of Fred Duarte in announcing their new Vice-Chairs (“DisCon III Announces Vice Chairs”) and that Lauren Raye was the “first Latinx Vice Chair.”  Fred’s son, Matthew Duarte, and I wish it to be acknowledged and corrected.

Fred Duarte Jr. (d. 2015). Photo by Mark Olson.

I privately contacted Randy Shepherd the day after the above referenced news (September 4) was released as he is one of the DisCon III Advisors. Randy and Fred both served as Vice-Chairs at LoneStarCon 2, the 1997 Worldcon, as did Bill Parker. This is the Worldcon that I chaired in San Antonio, Texas.

This is the gist of the first email I sent Randy:

“Could the wording be changed to first female Latinx Vice Chair and Fred be added as a footnote? Don’t mean to make a fuss but to ignore Fred’s contributions to fandom for decades is just wrong. I do not wish to make this a public issue, not my style or Fred’s. I want fandom to honor Fred’s accomplishments and leave his son, Matthew, the real legacy of his dad’s life, not history rewritten.”

Initially, he agreed that it should be fixed and he would see what he could do. Randy has not responded to subsequent emails since September 24.

So on October 4, I reached out to Patty Wells the other DisCon III Advisor. Patty asked Randy what was going on with a well-deserved apology, and his response to her was “it’s in process but slow.” Patty stated “she would find out more and would not let it go though.” This response was sent by Patty on October 5.

It has now been almost two weeks, and I have still received no responses or updates from either Randy or Patty.

My observation is this is slowly slipping through the cracks, and the final solution appears to be to simply include Fred as a footnote in the DisCon III Program Book in their list of former Worldcons for historical information.

This is situation has been ongoing since September 4 and it needs to be corrected sooner rather than later.

Fred’s role is documented in the LSC2 Program Book on page 7.