• Home

[VIRTUAL] Election 2020: Combating Disinformation and Energizing Young Voters

Black-and-white image of American flag as backdrop; on top: “Free Speech Live! A biweekly virtual forum for students. Election 2020: Combating Disinformation and Energizing Young Voters with special guest Paul Rogat Loeb” and Loeb’s headshot

An online forum hosted by PEN America’s Campus Free Speech Program as part of our student-centered evening workshop series, Free Speech Live!

The 2020 general election will be unlike any previous election, happening against the backdrop of a pandemic, and with disinformation running rampant. It’s vital that young voters know what to expect: from wait times at polling stations to the need to fact-check news. The media’s early reporting on results might also look different than usual, and there may be delays in results due to the tabulation of a high volume of mail-in ballots. The bottom line: Young voters need to be prepared to expect the unexpected during this election season, and nevertheless, persist to mobilize their families, friends, and communities to vote!

Join PEN America’s Campus Free Speech Program for this online forum featuring special guest, Paul Rogat Loeb, founder and president of the Campus Election Engagement Project, to discuss the 2020 election, combating disinformation, and energizing young voters. High school and college alumni of PEN America’s student programs and other students are welcome to join.



Paul Rogat Loeb headshotPaul Rogat Loeb has spent 45 years researching and writing about citizen responsibility and empowerment—to learn what makes some people choose lives of social commitment, while others abstain. He’s written five widely praised books with 350,000 copies in print, including Soul of a Citizen, The Impossible Will Take a Little While, and Generation at the Crossroads. He’s also written on social involvement for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, AARP Bulletin, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Psychology Today, Redbook, Inside Higher Ed, Christian Science Monitor, Parents Magazine, and the International Herald Tribune. Loeb has been interviewed on CNN, NPR, PBS, C-SPAN, Fox News, NBC TV, the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Voice of America, and national German and Australian radio, and has lectured on over 400 college campuses.

Nicholas Perez headshot

Nicholas Perez is the program coordinator for campus free speech at PEN America. He supports PEN America’s advocacy, analysis, and outreach in the national debate around free speech and inclusion in higher education. Perez previously worked for the Columbia University Human Rights Advocates Program and consulted for the Human Rights Education and Training section at the United Nations. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia University in human rights and humanitarian policy and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in international politics. He also was a Global Leadership Fellow at Waseda University in Japan, a Model United Nations advisor at Mira Costa High School, and a forensics researcher for the Yahad-in Unum Genocide Research Agency.

Margaret Flynn Sapia headshotMargaret Flynn-Sapia is the advocacy coordinator at PEN America’s Washington, D.C. office. Flynn-Sapia has worked at a number of human rights and free speech organizations, including Index on Censorship in London, the Albert Einstein Institution in Boston, and the Debate Foundation in Amman, Jordan. Flynn-Sapia graduated with a degree in sociology and Middle Eastern studies from Wellesley College, and was recently a Critical Language Scholar at the U.S. Department of State in Morocco. 

Get the Free Speech News You Need

protesters in face masks carrying old Belarusian national flags

PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.