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 announced that Hadar Harris, a human rights lawyer with experience in over 25 countries, has been appointed the managing director of PEN America’s Washington, D.C. office. Harris has served in the role in an interim capacity since January and has previously worked on a number of human rights issues, including the freedom of expression and association, protecting civil society space, gender equality, and domestic implementation of international norms. 

  • The Free Narges Coalition strongly condemned the additional sentencing of 2023 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Narges Mohammadi by an Iranian revolutionary court for charges of “propaganda activities against the state.” PEN America joined the coalition last week with Reporters Without Borders, Front Line Defenders, and the Narges Mohammadi Foundation. 

  • PEN America held its third installment of the U.S. Election Safety Summer, a free webinar series co-hosted with the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation. A recording of the most recent installation, which focused on protecting against hacking and doxing, will be available next week. 

  • Senior Program Manager Kurt Sampsel, along with Marlissa Collier of the Dallas Weekly and Edwin Robinson of the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, hosted a webinar discussing how community members and news consumers could engage productively with local media. 

  • PEN America criticized the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill for dismissing Professor Larry Chavis, a decision Chavis believes was based on comments he made in support of indigenous and LGBTQ+ rights that were secretly recorded. “This case is positively Orwellian,” said Jonathan Friedman, Sy Sims director of U.S. Free Expression Programs at PEN America. “This is an alarming violation of due process and academic freedom. Chavis deserves an explanation — and the university owes one to the public.” 

See previous PEN America updates