Participants hold PEN America’s Writers Resist banner, marching in New York City

Mission Statement:
The NYC Literary Action Coalition aims to create an activism network of NYC-based literary members to build the community’s capacity to mobilize on behalf of free expression and social justice issues.

In recent years, PEN America and its allies have mobilized on the steps of the New York Public Library against Chinese censorship, at the Brooklyn Museum for Ai Weiwei, in midtown for Writers Resist on the eve of the Trump inauguration, outside the NFL owners’ association meeting to support #TakeAKnee, and more. These collective stands have a galvanizing power that helps unite our members and allies behind a sense of common purpose and forceful engagement. We have also learned that other organizations in New York’s literary landscape have constituencies looking for ways to take shared, sustained action on the challenging concerns of our day. 

Since 2019, PEN America has met with more than 30 literary organizations around the city and facilitated several larger group discussions that confirmed interest in bringing together a more structured NYC Literary Action Coalition prepared for rapid-response mobilizations and longer-term campaigns. 

The mission of the Literary Action Coalition is to bring forward the voice and views of the literary community through activism that defends free expression; underscores the power of literature; promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion; and advances social justice. The partners for the coalition include professional literary organizations, community and campus literary groups, independent bookstores and publishers, arts organizations with literary programs, performance spaces, and individual writers and literary professionals. 

For more information about the coalition and how to join, please contact PEN America Community Outreach Manager Alejandro Heredia at [email protected].