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Banned! A Panel Discussion on Book Bans, Censorship, and Citizenship

The growing movement to ban books from K-12 schools and public libraries has come to California, with heated debates over titles, processes, and the right of students to learn from a diversity of voices and perspectives about topics both controversial and utterly mundane. Join the conversation on free expression and censorship with a panel hosted by the University of California Irvine School of Social Sciences and the UCI Libraries. The panel will feature PEN America Los Angeles Director Allison Lee and noted authors of children’s and young adult books whose works have been banned. 

RSVP required to attend.



ELANA K. ARNOLD, author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel, the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of, and Global Read Aloud selection A Boy Called Bat and its sequels. Several of her books are Junior Library Guild selections, and many have appeared on best book lists, including the Amelia Bloomer Project, a catalog of feminist titles for young readers. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and lives in Southern California with her family and menagerie of pets. 

ELIOT SCHREFER, New York Times-bestselling author who has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. He received the Stonewall Honor for best LGBTQIA+ teen book and the Printz Honor for best young adult book from the American Library Association. In naming him an Editor’s Choice, the New York Times called his work “dazzling” and “big-hearted.” His books include Endangered (2012) and Threatened (2014), which recount stories featuring young people and great apes. He is the author of the Lost Rainforest Series, Queer Ducks (and Other Animals), and The Darkness Outside Us, among other books. 

BRANDY COLBERT, award-winning author of several books for children and teens, including Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which was the winner of the 2022 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and a finalist for the American Library Association’s Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Award. Her other acclaimed books include Pointe, The Only Black Girls in Town, and Stonewall Book Award winner Little & Lion. She is on faculty at Hamline University’s MFA program in writing for children and lives in Los Angeles.

ALLISON LEE, PEN America’s Los Angeles Director. Prior to that, she served as Chief Development Officer for TIME’S UP, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting gender equity and ending sexual violence in the workplace. She has previously served as Vice President of External Affairs at Bet Tzedek Legal Services and Executive Director of American Jewish World Service, Southern California. 


Bill Maurer, Dean, School of Social Sciences, UC Irvine.



Parking: Social Sciences Parking Structure, 4502 Campus Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Pre-register your vehicle prior to coming onto campus, if you do not already have a valid parking permit. 

Direct Parking Permit Link:  https://apps.parking.uci.edu/parkbyplate/s/purchase.cfm?code=BOOKDIS

Event Code:  BOOKDISC

Parking Valid Time: All Day 10/25/23 at Social Sciences Parking Structure (General/Unmarked Stalls)

Parking Permit Rate: $15/registration