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[VIRTUAL] Free Speech Live!: Free Expression and the Situation in Afghanistan

Afghanistan street scene in background; on top: “Free Speech Live! A biweekly virtual forum for students. Free Expression and the Situation in Afghanistan”

An online forum hosted by PEN America’s Free Expression and Education program as part of our biweekly student-centered evening workshop series, Free Speech Live!

As the Taliban reclaims power in Afghanistan, the many courageous Afghan writers, cultural actors, journalists, and activists—especially women—who have exercised and defended freedom of expression are facing grave and imminent threats. The prospects for freedom of expression and human rights in Afghanistan under Taliban rule is deeply uncertain, and broad action is necessary from the United States and the international community to protect those who are under threat, as well as to defend the fundamental rights of the Afghan people.


Join PEN America for this interactive online forum featuring a brief presentation, discussion, and expert-facilitated Q&A session with Nicholas Perez, PEN America’s manager for free expression and education, to discuss answers to these questions and more. High school and college alumni of PEN America’s Institutes and other students are welcome to join.


Nicholas Perez headshotNicholas “Niko” Perez is the manager of free expression and education at PEN America. In this role, he advances PEN America’s efforts to catalyze a more informed, civic culture through free expression education for the rising generation and the general public, and supports advocacy, analysis, and outreach in the national debate around free speech and inclusion in higher education. Perez co-directs the Free Speech Advocacy Institute and hosts Free Speech Live!, a biweekly series of youth-oriented discussions focusing on contemporary issues related to free speech, open exchange, human rights, and democracy. 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.

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