PEN America works tirelessly to defend free expression, support persecuted writers, and promote literary culture. Here are some of the latest ways PEN America is speaking out.

  • PEN America condemned attempts by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy and State Rep. Brian Harrison to interfere with Texas A&M’s academic programs, emphasizing the importance of preserving academic freedom and open debate in universities.
  • A coalition of 20 education, rights, and faith-based organizations, including PEN America, urged Florida lawmakers to reject Senate Bill 1372, a proposed legislation mirroring the Stop WOKE Act from 2022, which was previously blocked for violating the First Amendment. 
  • Director of Free Expression and Education Programs Jonathan Friedman testified that New York’s libraries serve as a model for how public libraries can facilitate “an equitable and inclusive democracy for all.”
  • Kasey Meehan, program director, Freedom to Read, joined PEN Canada, Ontario School Libraries Association, Centre for Free Expression/Ontario Library Association, and Ottawa Public Library in a discussion on book bans during Canada’s Freedom to Read Week.  
  • The Freedom to Read Program hosted our monthly Author Briefing in partnership with Authors Against Book Bans, hosting over 40 authors to talk about current legislative attacks on the freedom to read.
  • PEN America’s Digital Safety team hosted a bystander intervention training with Right to Be, held several online defense trainings, and participated in the Web Foundation consultation on tech facilitated gender based online violence, a discussion gathering global civil society representatives and tech policy experts to establish a series of minimum standards for policymaking on online gender-based violence.

See previous PEN America updates