[VIRTUAL] Writing as Protest: The Power of the Written/Spoken Word

Alejandro Heredia’s and Mahogany L. Browne’s headshots on black background and the words "Writing as Protest" on teal text boxHow can writers and the literary arts serve to protect protest rights? Why should protest matter to writers? How can writers leverage the power of the written and spoken word to educate communities about the importance of protest rights? Join us for a live conversation featuring Alejandro Heredia and Mahogany L. Browne.

This virtual event is Part IV in How Writers and Activists Can Safeguard Protest Rights, PEN America’s series of Instagram Live conversations created to raise awareness about how anti-protest proposals introduced around the country attempt to criminalize freedom of assembly and crack down on activists and the movement for racial justice. We aim to engage the literary community by mobilizing our writer allies and Members around free expression for all.


Tune into the Instagram Live on Thursday April 29 at 1pm ET / 10am PT. If you tweet about the event, be sure to tag our Twitter handle @penamerica.


Mahogany L. Browne headshotMahogany L. Browne (she/her/hers) is a writer, organizer, and educator. She is the executive director of the Bowery Poetry Club, artistic director of Urban Word NYC, and poetry coordinator at St. Francis College. Browne has received fellowships from Agnes Gund, AIR Serenbe, Cave Canem, Poets House, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Research Forum, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Her most recent works include Chlorine Sky, Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby, and Black Girl Magic. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Alejandro Heredia headshot

Alejandro Heredia (he/him/his) is the community outreach manager at PEN America, where he develops literary advocacy and press freedom programming throughout the country. Before arriving at PEN, Heredia worked at SAG-AFTRA, where he supported the movement to strengthen the commercials contract union industry. Since 2016, he has used his writing and organizing skills to create and support literary events in the Bronx, including efforts to resist gentrification in low-income communities. Heredia is passionate about the creative, intellectual, and social lives of Black LGBTQ people across the diaspora.

Events in the Instagram Live Series

  • Part I: Is “Protest” a Bad Word? Policies Boom to Ban Protest in the 21st Century, April 8 at 1:30pm ET
  • Part II: Black Liberation and Protest: From Civil Rights to Black Trans Lives Matter, April 13 at 1pm ET
  • Part III: Indigenous American Activism in the 21st Century, April 22 at 1pm ET
  • Part IV: Writing As Protest: The Power of the Written/Spoken Word, April 29 at 1pm ET

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