More than Empty Shelves: How Book Bans Undermine Identities and Restrict Information

Restricting access to under-represented voices is intended to invalidate marginalized identities and has no place in a healthy democracy. The opportunity to learn about experiences different than our own is a fundamental part of what allows our state, and our country, to achieve inclusive progress. As the right to access information is under attack around the country, New Jersey has an obligation to fight back, and to lead by example in defending it.

This event will be moderated by ACLU-NJ Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero. Panelists include:

  • Martha Hickson, New Jersey Library Association 2023 Librarian of the Year
  • Kasey Meehan, Freedom to Read Program Director at PEN America
  • Brielle Winslow-Majette, Deputy Director of Garden State Equality

This event will also be livestreamed on the ACLU of New Jersey’s Facebook page.

We Will Not Be Erased: A Banned Books Event


This year has seen a significant rise in the number of books facing challenges and bans, with a notable focus on works authored by Black and LGBTQ+ writers, as reported by PEN America. Adding to these challenges, North Carolina is contending with increased censorship and limitations on student self-expression through the implementation of Senate Bill 49.

Together, let’s champion the freedom to read, learn, and grow through diverse voices and perspectives.

Celebrate Banned Books Week with the ACLU of North Carolina and Equality NC.

Celebrating Intellectual Freedom: a Banned Books Week event

In 2023, PEN America reports a historical increase of challenged and banned books, particularly those written by Black and LGBTQ+ authors. With North Carolina now facing additional censorship and limits to the freedom of student self-expression in schools with bills like Senate Bill 49 becoming law, it is time to come together this fall to continue telling our stories and elevating the voices of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth and families.

ACLU-NC invites you to join us on Monday, October 2, at 6:30 p.m. for a panel discussion on the importance of having access to our stories from the perspectives of librarians, students and school board members.

This event is free and is open to all who wish to attend, we especially extend invitations to school aged readers, families, educators, school staff, and all who wish to see an end to banned books.

Parking is available immediately outside the Reuter Center and in All Permit lots on campus (parking areas are marked in orange on the campus map). Parking is free for visitors and no permit is required after 5 p.m.

Thank you to our sponsors, OLLI (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), Campaign for Southern Equality, and the UNC Asheville Political Science Dept.

RSVP Today: Celebrating Intellectual Freedom: a Banned Books Week event | American Civil Liberties Union (aclu.org)