George M. Johnson
Author Honorary Chair
George M. Johnson (they/them/theirs) is a writer and activist based in New York. They have written on race, gender, sex, and culture for Essence, the Advocate, BuzzFeed News, Teen Vogue, and more than forty other national publications. George has appeared on BuzzFeed’s AM2DM as well as on MSNBC. All Boys Aren’t Blue is their debut, and was an Amazon Best Book of the Year, an Indie Bestseller, a People Magazine Best Book of the Year, and optioned for television by Gabrielle Union. The New York Times called it “an exuberant, unapologetic memoir infused with a deep but cleareyed love for its subjects.
Events with George
- Banned Books Instagram Live with George M. Johnson
- Spotlight on George M. Johnson
- The Book Ban Wave: Educational Censorship in SoCal
- Claiming Our Stories: LGBTQ Book Bans in America
- Author Talk: George M. Johnson All Boys Aren’t Blue
Youth Honorary Chair
Cameron Samuels (they/them/theirs) recently graduated from the Katy Independent School District in Texas, where they organized the FReadom Week initiative to eventually distribute a total of 700+ challenged or banned books. Once the only student to speak at school board meetings, receiving no applause while other speakers called for book banning, Samuels built a student-led movement within months by packing school board meetings and continuously outnumbering the opposition. Decisions were made to keep certain books on shelves, and while currently a student at Brandeis University, Samuels’ efforts to combat censorship across the state of Texas and the nation are ongoing.
Events with Cameron
- Jailed for Words and Art: Uplifting Critical Voices and Fighting Censorship
- Give Book Bans the Boot
- The Kids Are Alright: Youth Activists on Fighting Censorship
- Banned Camp and Books UnBanned: Teen Intellectual Freedom Panel
- How to Fight Book Bans In Your Community
Past Honorary Chairs
Jason Reynolds, 2021
Jason Reynolds is the author of more than a dozen books for young people, including All American Boys (with Brendan Kiely), Ghost, Long Way Down, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, and Stamped (with Ibram X. Kendi). A multiple National Book Award finalist, Reynolds has also received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and several Coretta Scott King Award honors. He is currently serving an extended term as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for the Library of Congress.