Tag: levar burton

Banned Books Week Wednesday is LeVar Burton Day!

Today is the day! Our Honorary Chair LeVar Burton will join us live on Facebook for a conversation with our Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels. Don’t miss this knowledge! You can also catch programs with John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), Mike Curato (Flamer), Brad Meltzer (I Am Rosa Parks), and more. Keep reading for details…

TOMORROW: Don’t miss our A Seat at the Table, a conversation with youth advocates lead by Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels! The event starts at 8:00 p.m. EDT. You can register here.

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week events calendar for a full list of what’s happening today and throughout the week!

Honorary Chair Event

LeVar Burton LIVE on Facebook in Conversation with Da’Taeveyon Daniels

Facebook Live Event • 8:00 p.m. EDT

Actor, director, literacy advocate—and Banned Books Week 2023 Honorary Chair—LeVar Burton will discuss his anti-censorship work with Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels during this rare live event, which will stream on Facebook.

Follow @BannedBooksWeek, and join us October 4, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. EDT / 7:00 p.m. CDT / 6:00 p.m. MDT / 5:00 p.m. PDT.

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Rescuing Our World From the Harms of Censorship: Providing Access to Information in Unprecedented Times

Virtual Event • 8:30 am – 10:00 am CDT

This year IFLA’s Management of Library Associations (MLAS), in collaboration with the Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Advisory Committee (FAIFE), will be organizing a webinar to discuss access to information under siege across the world, as well as best practices and strategies from library associations and librarians.  

As in previous years, this October 1-7 of 2023, we commemorate “Banned Books Week,” an initiative from the American Library Association that seeks to bring together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas.

Librarians across the world are facing unprecedented situations related to the defense of access to information and intellectual freedom. Library leaders from different regions will be taking a look at the current global situation, discussing how to manage crises, and how to build support networks for libraries and librarians. As part of the event, resources developed by library associations will be shared on the event’s page.

Authors and Advocates on Fighting Book Bans

Virtual Event • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

The last few years have seen an unparalleled attack on the right to read and organized campaigns against certain types of literature and programming in public and school libraries. No one person or organization can face this fight alone, and we all need to take direct action to combat censorship. Join author John Green (Looking for AlaskaThe Fault in Our Stars), writer and illustrator Mike Curato (Flamer), librarian and Texas FReadom Fighters co-founder Becky Calzada, and Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels for a conversation about the impact of book bans and the ways in which they have taken action to fight censorship. The program will close with a short Q&A. Sign up here.

NYC Day Of Action: Protect The Freedom To Read!

Virtual Event • 10:00 a.m. EDT

2023 has seen a steep rise in book bans and censorship in classrooms and school libraries across the United States.

Queens Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the New York Public Library are dedicated to free and open access to information and knowledge—a mission that is directly opposed to censorship.

On Wednesday, October 4, during Banned Books Week, New York City’s libraries invite you to join us on social media in support of the freedom to read!

Books can build bridges, introduce us to new perspectives, and show us we are not alone.

Join us on October 4 to celebrate the power of books, reading, and public libraries—and stand for the #FreedomToRead!

More info on ways to participate

The New Republic: THE BANNED BOOKS TOUR 2023

MLK Library, 901 G St NW, Washington DC • 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT

The New Republic is launching a bold new initiative to combat censorship and celebrate the First Amendment to coincide with Banned Books Week October 1–7, 2023. This fall, we are taking it on the road, sending a bookmobile to distribute books in states that have witnessed the highest incidents of banned books, including Texas, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

We will launch our journey at the Brooklyn Book Festival on October 1 where we will accept book (and financial) donations with special help from our partners at House of SpeakEasy via the SpeakEasy Bookmobile.

Our “festival on wheels” will connect with communities, authors, bookstores, libraries, and local leaders to celebrate the freedom to read.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @newrepublic #TNRBookmobile #TNRStandsWithTheBanned and Eventbrite.

Oct 4—Washington, D.C.

11 a.m.–3 p.m. // MLK Library, 901 G St NW

Woman Life Freedom – with Malu Halasa & guests

London – Hatchards – Piccadilly 187 Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom • 8:00 p.m. BST

Join Malu Halasa and Ramita Navai here at Hatchards this evening for an event chaired by Index on Censorship editor-in-chief Jemimah Steinfeld to celebrate the launch of the book “Woman Life Freedom”.

The murder of Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022 by Iran’s morality police sent shockwaves throughout the country. Protests led by women spread to ninety cities in all of Iran’s provinces. Videos on social media showed women in the streets with their hair uncovered, burning headscarves and even cutting their own long hair. Men soon joined the protests. Schoolgirls defaced portraits of religious leaders. Cries of Zan Zendegi Azadi in Farsi – Woman Life Freedom – echoed in mass demonstrations, which continue today. Woman Life Freedom captures this historic moment in artwork and first-person accounts by courageous women, including those too scared to reveal their true identities because of a repressive and vindictive regime. Featuring art, music and photography from the protests, this moving and inspiring anthology exposes hardship, hope and empowerment in modern-day Iran.

As part of the launch of Woman Life Freedom, marking Banned Books Week, this event will discuss the Iran protests over the last year and will ask what has happened. With reports of the morality police back on the streets and protesters locked away, some even executed, what positive change has occurred, if any? The event will also launch Index’s Autumn Magazine, which covers the rise of the religious right, religious blasphemy and its impact on freedom of expression, with a focus on Iran amongst other countries.

Resisting Censorship: The Children’s & Young Adult Book Banning Crisis

Books & Books 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL, United States • 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm EDT

LGBTQ-themed books are under profound attack in the United States. They are challenged in droves and are decreed off-limits by school boards, legislators, and prison authorities. In PEN’s report “Banned in the USA: The Mounting Pressure to Censor,” during the 2022–23 school year, PEN America recorded 3,362 instances of books banned, an increase of 33 percent from the 2021–22 school year, with over 40 percent of all book bans occurring in school districts in Florida. 78% of the books banned are listed as young adult, middle grade, and picture books.

Join PEN Miami/South Florida and Books & Books for a vital conversation with New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer, whose books I am Rosa Parks and I am Martin Luther King Jr. have been challenged in schools across the country, and author Camryn Garrett, whose books feature celebrations of blackness and queerness. They will discuss the movement to ban books by and about LGBTQ people, particularly books aimed at younger audiences, and how to resist the censorship taking over our schools and libraries.

Ongoing Events

Share a Banned Book in a Little Free Library!

Our mission at Little Free Library is to expand access to books – including banned books – and we invite you to join us! Sharing banned and challenged books in your local Little Free Libraries is a meaningful way to get books into readers’ hands, show your support for reading freedom, and do something positive in your community. Here’s how:

1) Share a banned book in a Little Free Library. Find Little Free Libraries near you using our free mobile app (littlefreelibrary.org/app/).

2) Snap a photo and post it on social media with #bannedbooksweek. Don’t forget to tag Little Free Library so we’re sure to see your photos!

3) Bonus: Little Free Library stewards can enter to win our Banned Books Week giveaway with HarperCollins Children’s Books, which will be open for entry during the month of October (littlefreelibrary.org/books/).

People For’s Banned Books Reading Challenge

In this challenge, every book you read (to a grandchild or on your own) gives you one “point,” and points can be traded in for free Grandparents For Truth swag! Supplies are limited so make sure to read early and often!

How You Can Join the Challenge

  1. Sign up for the challenge here.
  2. Pick a banned book off of our banned book reading list
  3. Submit a photo or video of you (or you and a grandkid!) reading the banned book. If you post it to social, make sure you tag us (we’re @peoplefor on Twitter/X and Facebook and @peoplefor_ on Instagram)and use the hashtag #bannedbooks2023
  4. Each photo or video you submit or tag us in is worth one point! Rack up points to get free Grandparents for Truth swag like tshirts, book marks, water bottles, and more!
  5. Keep an eye on your inbox! At the end of October, we’ll reach out to you to see what swag you’d like.

Supplies are limited – so read early and often!

LeVar Burton to Lead 2023 Banned Books Week as Honorary Chair

Photograph of actor LeVar Burton

Beloved reading advocate, writer, and television and film star LeVar Burton will lead this year’s Banned Books Week, which takes place October 1–7, 2023.  Burton is the first actor to serve as honorary chair of Banned Books Week, an annual weeklong event that highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas.

Recognizable for his groundbreaking roles in the landmark television series Roots and the Star Trek franchise, Burton’s work as a literacy advocate has inspired generations. Many in the book community can trace their love of reading and advocacy for the right to read to Burton’s treasured PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow. Burton has continued to inspire readers with the enormously popular LeVar Burton Reads podcast. A long-time champion for reading and access to books, Burton executive produced The Right to Read. This award-winning 2023 documentary film positions the literacy crisis in America as a civil rights issue. 

“Books bring us together. They teach us about the world and each other. The ability to read and access books is a fundamental right and a necessity for life-long success,” says Burton. “But books are under attack. They’re being removed from libraries and schools. Shelves have been emptied because of a small number of people and their misguided efforts toward censorship. Public advocacy campaigns like Banned Books Week are essential to helping people understand the scope of book censorship and what they can do to fight it. I’m honored to lead Banned Books Week 2023.”

Burton will headline a live virtual conversation with Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels about censorship and advocacy at 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 4. The event will stream live on Instagram (@banned_books_week). Visit BannedBooksWeek.org for more details.

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom documented an unparalleled increase in attempts to remove books and other materials from libraries and schools in 2022: 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling censorship data more than 20 years ago. These demands targeted 2,571 unique titles, a 38% increase over the previous year.

Since it was founded in 1982, Banned Books Week has drawn attention to the attempts to remove books and other materials from libraries, schools, and bookstores. The 2023 Banned Books Week theme “Let Freedom Read” is a call to action about the urgent need to defend the right to read and to support the community of readers, library staff, educators, authors, publishers, and booksellers. 

Saturday, October 7, will mark Let Freedom Read Day, a day of action against censorship. From calling decision-makers to checking out or buying banned books, to writing letters and more, everyone is encouraged to do at least one thing to defend the right to read and to speak on behalf of those who ensure access to information. For information about ways to participate and resources, visit bannedbooksweek.org/let-freedom-read-day/.

Visit BannedBooksWeek.org for information about Burton’s event and other programs, ways to participate, and promotional materials. Follow Banned Books Week on social media (@BannedBooksWeek on X and Facebook, @banned_books_week on Instagram) for the latest updates.

About LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton is an actor, director, producer, and podcaster whose decades-long work includes Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Reading Rainbow. He is the honored recipient of seven NAACP Awards, a Peabody, a Grammy, and 15 Emmys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Inaugural Children’s & Family Emmys. 

As a lifelong literacy advocate, Burton has dedicated decades to encouraging children to read. In 2023, Burton premiered his first documentary, The Right to Read, a film that positions the literacy crisis in America as a civil rights issue. The Right to Read was officially selected at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and SXSW Edu. 

Burton continues to exercise his passion for storytelling as the award-winning author of Aftermath, The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, and A Kids Book About Imagination. He launched his first book club with Fable, a digital book club community, and partnered with Masterclass to share the power of storytelling. 

His production company, LeVar Burton Entertainment (LBE), develops projects in the film, television, podcasting, and publishing space  to share stories that foster empathy, champion diversity, and build community. 

Now in its 12th season, the enormously popular LeVar Burton Reads podcast has over 175 episodes in its catalog, boasting 25 million downloads.  LBE’s first Kids & Family podcast, Sound Detectives, will debut on Stitcher in November 2023. 

As a pop culture icon, Burton has the unique ability to reach all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic groups, communicating to a large fan base that is highly engaged and motivated to embrace his message. 

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 for Free Expression, American Library Association, Amnesty International USA, Association of University Presses, Banned Books Week Sweden (a collaboration between Sweden PEN and the Dawit Isaak Library), Children’s Book Council, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Freedom to Read Foundation, Little Free Library, National Book Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN America, People for the American Way Foundation, and PFLAG. Contributors include American Society of Journalists and Authors, Authors Guild, Index on Censorship, GLAAD, and Project Censored. Banned Books Week is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and receives generous support from HarperCollins and Penguin Random House.