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World Press Freedom Day: Denver, CO

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World Press Freedom Day 2019: Denver

In partnership with BookBar, join PEN America Members and local journalists as they gather to celebrate and recognize World Press Freedom Day in Denver. They will be reading excerpts of important journalistic and literary pieces that emphasize the importance of the free press, culminating in the reading of PEN America’s Press Freedom Manifesto, which we hope will serve to inspire and unite writers across all genres at in support of journalism as a vital form of storytelling.

BookBar’s Open Mic sign-ups start at 4:30pm and the readings will begin at 5:00 pm. Featured storytellers will include:

Rowena Alegría, Chief Storyteller for the City & County of Denver
Dan Baer, Former U.S. ambassador and candidate for Senate
Tameca L Coleman, singer and multi-genre writer

The event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be provided (including a World Press Freedom Day themed sangria!). 

Want to spread the word? Download the PEN America Press Freedom Manifesto and visit our digital activation toolkit!

Rowena Alegria PhotoRowena Alegría is Chief Storyteller for the City & County of Denver, founder and director of the new citywide storytelling project I Am Denver. A 2018 Writing by Writers Fellow and a 2019 Vermont Studio Center Fellow, she is a recent graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is a Macondista, a member of Sandra Cisneros’ Macondo Writers Workshop. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in The Rumpus, the Mississippi Review, Tribal College Journal and elsewhere. A career journalist, communications executive and speech writer, she is writing a novel that plays with form and the history of the Southwest.

Dan Baer PhotoDan Baer grew up in Jefferson and Arapahoe counties, the oldest of four children. He attended public high school in Littleton, where his mom was an art teacher. He holds a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford and a degree in Social Studies and African American Studies from Harvard. Dan served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from 2009-2013. He helped to create the first internet freedom office, and worked to free political prisoners in Ethiopia, Vietnam, China, Burma, Azerbaijan and other countries, and earned a reputation as a fierce foe of restrictions on activists and journalists.
Dan served as U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe from 2013 to 2017. When appointed to this role, Dan became the youngest U.S. ambassador in the world, and only the fourth openly LGBTQ person to be nominated as a U.S. Ambassador. After President Trump’s election, Dan and his husband Brian Walsh, a climate economist, returned home to Colorado. He taught at the University of Denver and served in Governor Hickenlooper’s cabinet as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Tameca Coleman PhotoTameca L Coleman is a singer, multi-genre writer, massage therapist, itinerant nerd and point and shoot tourist in their own town. Tameca has published work in many genres, and has also performed and recorded music with many different bands. She doodles sometimes and likes weird music and dancebreaks. For more information, follow @sireneatspoetry on social media.