Tag: activism

Banned Books Club

Read and examine books that have been banned from schools and libraries over the past several years, and discuss issues of censorship and intellectual freedom. Each month participants will choose their own book from the following genres to read and bring to the club:

September: Graphic Novels

October: Young Adult

November: Fiction

December: Nonfiction

January: Picture Books 

Participants choose their own book to read and discuss. Suggested titles for each month can be found linked above and in our catalog.

Generously sponsored by the Boulder Library Foundation.

How to Fight Book Bans in Your Community

New day, new censorship! Attempts to remove books from school and public libraries are on the rise, leaving many librarians and members of the communities they support with a sense of powerlessness. But you are not alone! Learn about ways you can support libraries and combat censorship from experienced activists who have been defending the right to read in their communities. Join a conversation about community organizing and fighting book bans with Cameron Samuels, Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair and student activist from Katy, Texas; Jen Cousins and Stephana Ferrell, co-founders of the Florida Freedom to Read Project; and Carolyn Foote, co-founder of Freadom Fighters.

Register Here: https://ala-events.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Tlx2eiVJRyCoAWdLWx0c0A

About the Panelists

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. Cameron is the inaugural Youth Honorary Chair for the Banned Books Week Coalition. 

Jen Cousins is a mom of four public school kids in Orlando, FL. She co-founded the Florida Freedom to Read Project in January 2022 after witnessing extreme censorship in public schools targeting the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. In addition to running the nonprofit, she is an LGBTQ+ and students’ rights activist and has testified before Congress about the dangers of laws like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.

Stephana Ferrell is a public school parent with two kids currently in elementary school. She co-founded the Florida Freedom to Read Project in January of this year to push back against the rising K-12 censorship attempts across the state of Florida. Before starting the nonprofit, Stephana owned and operated a photography business and worked in corporate training, proving this work only requires a commitment to protecting access to information and learning. 

Carolyn Foote, honored as a White House Champion of Change, is a rewired/retired 29-year Texas librarian, who focuses on library advocacy, library design and technology.  She is currently a cofounder of the grassroots advocacy group, the FReadom Fighters. She is a recipient of the 2019 AASL Library Collaboration Award and along with her team at FReadom Fighters, is also a recent recipient of this year’s AASL Intellectual Freedom award and the ALA Robert Downs Intellectual Freedom Award and is a frequent author and presenter on library issues.   

Banned Comic Books

Who’s afraid of comic books? Book bans across Missouri and the U.S. have often targeted graphic novels and comic books, especially those that depict issues of gender, sexuality and race. New Missouri laws will punish educators and school librarians who provide restricted materials to students with fines and jail time. This event considers banned comic books from the perspectives of the artists who create them and the advocates who defend them. Panel lineup includes:

  • Jerry CraftNew York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the graphic novels New Kid and Class Act. New Kid is the only book in history to win the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature (2020), the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature (2019), and the Coretta Scott King Author Award for the most outstanding work by an African American writer (2020).
  • Molly Carney, ACLU MO. Carney joined the ACLU of Missouri as a Staff Attorney in 2020. As a member of the legal team, she engages in all aspects of strategic litigation efforts to protect civil rights and liberties, including her current work on litigation and advocacy against book bans across Missouri.
  • Phoebe Gloeckner, graphic novelist. Gloeckner’s book The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2002) was praised as “one of the most brutally honest, shocking, tender, beautiful portrayals of growing up female in America.”

Discussion moderated by Rebecca Wanzo, professor and chair of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Washington University. Wanzo is author of The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belongingwinner of the 2021 Eisner Award for Best Academic/Scholarly Work and the 2021 Charles Hatfield Book Prize from the Comics Studies Society.

Organized by Left Bank Books, St. Louis Public Library, and the Center for the Humanities and Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Arrangements for the appearance of Jerry Craft made through HarperCollins Speakers Bureau, NY, NY.

Banned Books Conversations: Where Radical Readers Discuss Prohibited Prose

Over the course of Banned Books Week, this series will cover seven different books, the reasons they were banned, and the value in reading them. Hosted by Tonya Todd, one new episode of Banned Books Conversations will be posted to YouTube each day. Panelists include authors and readers across the US and UK.

Banned Books Conversations: Where Radical Readers Discuss Prohibited Prose

Over the course of Banned Books Week, this series will cover seven different books, the reasons they were banned, and the value in reading them. Hosted by Tonya Todd, one new episode of Banned Books Conversations will be posted to YouTube each day. Panelists include authors and readers across the US and UK.

Banned Books Conversations: Where Radical Readers Discuss Prohibited Prose

Over the course of Banned Books Week, this series will cover seven different books, the reasons they were banned, and the value in reading them. Hosted by Tonya Todd, one new episode of Banned Books Conversations will be posted to YouTube each day. Panelists include authors and readers across the US and UK.

Banned Books Conversations: Where Radical Readers Discuss Prohibited Prose

Over the course of Banned Books Week, this series will cover seven different books, the reasons they were banned, and the value in reading them. Hosted by Tonya Todd, one new episode of Banned Books Conversations will be posted to YouTube each day. Panelists include authors and readers across the US and UK.

Banned Books Conversations: Where Radical Readers Discuss Prohibited Prose

Over the course of Banned Books Week, this series will cover seven different books, the reasons they were banned, and the value in reading them. Hosted by Tonya Todd, one new episode of Banned Books Conversations will be posted to YouTube each day. Panelists include authors and readers across the US and UK.

Banned Books Conversations: Where Radical Readers Discuss Prohibited Prose

Over the course of Banned Books Week, this series will cover seven different books, the reasons they were banned, and the value in reading them. Hosted by Tonya Todd, one new episode of Banned Books Conversations will be posted to YouTube each day. Panelists include authors and readers across the US and UK.

Banned Books Conversations: Where Radical Readers Discuss Prohibited Prose

Over the course of Banned Books Week, this series will cover seven different books, the reasons they were banned, and the value in reading them. Hosted by Tonya Todd, one new episode of Banned Books Conversations will be posted to YouTube each day. Panelists include authors and readers across the US and UK.

Little Free Library Unbound – Chapter 20: Banned and Challenged Books

Little Free Library Unbound is a digital event series connecting stewards, patrons, supporters, authors, publishers, the Little Free Library organization staff, and our national board via monthly webinars on book-related topics. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions for our guest panelists, and our moderator will lead a discussion alongside the Q&A.

Chapter 20

Our 20th chapter of Unbound is a conversation on banned and challenged books. We’ll be joined by Little Free Library stewards Brandi McPherson, Mai Le, and Katie Cohen and Krysta Petrie to talk about banned and challenged books, the Read in Color program, and the importance of access to books about people from all backgrounds.

Jailed for Words and Art: Uplifting Critical Voices and Fighting Censorship

You have the right to say what you think, share information and demand a better world. Exercising these rights – without fear or unlawful interference – is central to living in an open and fair society. Yet across the globe governments have increased censorship and routinely imprison people for speaking out!  

This event will feature the works of critical voices that governments are trying to silence. We will hear from local advocates who work to promote and protect free speech!   

Event Registration: https://bit.ly/3Bsnas5 

What YOU Can Do to Defend the Right to Read: Award-Winning Librarian Extraordinaire Martha Hickson With Special Guest Daniel Handler, AKA Lemony Snicket!

Award-winning librarian Martha Hickson at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice to enlighten us about the state of censorship & what YOU can do to defend the right to read (& with a very special guest appearance by Daniel Handler AKA Lemony Snicket!)

In schools & libraries around the country, extremists are attempting to ban books & trample students’ First Amendment right to read. In a discussion designed to educate, aggravate, & activate, Martha will deliver the latest news on censorship, share the strategies she used to fight back here in NJ, & provide you with tips & tools to keep free people reading freely.

As the extraordinary Martha sez her own self, “Defending the right to read is not a one-person job. The Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice with its commitment to diverse voices & safe spaces is the perfect ally for libraries & by partnering with the Center we will fight the Ed Scare affecting our schools, libraries, & the greater community.”

Join BRCSJ Community Liaison Martha & Chief Activist Robt Martin Seda-Schreiber in community-buildin’ conversation that promises to be equally empowerin’ & entertainin’

Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice HQ
12 Stockton St.
Princeton, NJ 08540

If you find this program & the work we do meaningful & believe in the mission & vision of the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, please consider donatin’ whatever is within your means & within your hearts to help us continue to build this extraordinary new home our community needs & deserves. It’s hard to be a safe-space without a space…
paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/3348328

PORTUGAL. THE MAN, Live with Banned Books Week & NCAC!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Coalition Against Censorship at 6:00 p.m. EDT, September 29, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with Grammy Award-winning musicians and free expression heroes Portugal. The Man! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the NCAC Facebook page

In early 2020, Portugal. The Man joined the protest when the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board, which oversees schools in the band’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, voted to remove five classic novels — I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien — from the 11th grade reading list. Through their charitable non-profit, PTM Foundation, Portugal. The Man helped provide thousands of copies of the banned books to students in the district.

During this hourlong livestream, we’ll talk with Portugal. The Man about why they took action, the role of communities in fighting censorship, and the importance of access to information. We’ll close with a short Q&A. The event will be moderated by Nora Pelizzari (Director of Communications, NCAC) and Betsy Gomez (Coordinator, Banned Books Week Coalition).

How will this work?

  1. Make sure you like the National Coalition Against Censorship on Facebook.
  2. At 6:00 p.m. EDT on September 29, go to Facebook and look at the News Feed.
  3. Click Watch in the Navigation Panel on the left. (Click See More if you don’t see Watch in the list.)
  4. After clicking Watch, click Live in the Navigation Panel on the left.

You can also go directly to facebook.com/live to access Facebook livestreams or the video section of NCAC’s Facebook page to access the event.

About PORTUGAL. THE MAN

Portugal. The Man took 2017 by the horns after a considerably long gap between records. They spent years working on an album called Gloomin + Doomin before later developing what would become known as their latest studio album WOODSTOCK. Fate struck lead singer John Gourley twice. First, John got some parental tough love from his old man. “What’s taking so long to finish the album?” John’s dad asked. “Isn’t that what bands do? Write songs and then put them out?” The whole thing got John thinking about why the band seemed to be stuck on a musical elliptical machine from hell and more importantly, about how to get off of it. Second, John found his dad’s ticket stub from the original 1969 Woodstock music festival, which ultimately knocked something loose in his head. He realized that, in the same tradition of bands from that era, Portugal. The Man needed to speak out about the world crumbling around them.

With these two ideas converging, the band made a seemingly bat-shit-crazy decision: they took all of the work they had done for the three years prior and threw it out. The band went back to the studio — working with John Hill, Danger Mouse and longtime collaborator Casey Bates. In this new-found creative territory, the album that became WOODSTOCK rolled out naturally from there. Fast forward to present day and it was impossible to escape the album’s first single, “Feel It Still,” which dominated the charts and radio airwaves in 2017. The 4X Platinum Certified hit reigned at #1 at nearly all radio formats, including Top 40, as well as Alternative, where the song held the chart’s top spot for a mind-blowing 20 weeks, breaking the record for most weeks at #1. Yes, you read that right. Five guys from Wasilla, Alaska, who have played nearly 1,500 shows in their career, broke Alternative radio records and had a #1 song at Pop radio. Billboard Magazine even went as far as to call the song “the unexpected rock crossover hit of 2017,” while Rolling Stone listed it as “one of the best songs of 2017.” AND THEN…the band kicked off 2018 by winning a GRAMMY Award for “Feel It Still.”

About the PTM Foundation

PTM Foundation is focused on building community resilience, empathy, and awareness through music, stories, art, education and connectivity. They aim to convene and organize partnerships and projects informed by community need, then mobilize Portugal. The Man’s listeners and supporters around that shared vision.

While their advocacy, philanthropy, and community engagement work is primarily centered around universal issues related to human rights, community health, and the environment, this organization puts a specific focus on highlighting the stories of Indigenous Peoples, and they are committed to helping bring these sacred voices — often the most informed, yet silenced among us — to the forefront.

About the National Coalition Against Censorship

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) promotes freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression and opposes censorship in all its forms. Since 1974, NCAC has engaged in direct advocacy, education, research and analysis to support the principles of the First Amendment. A coalition of over 50 national non-profits, NCAC’s alliance includes literary, artistic, education, and civil liberties groups. NCAC is national in scope, but often local in their approach, engaging with a nationwide network of advocates and supporting local activism. NCAC works with community members to resolve censorship controversies without the need for litigation.

About the Banned Books Week Coalition

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship. 

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.