High School and College Students Can Learn how to Become Free Expression Advocates and Combat Book Bans at PEN America’s Online Trainings This Fall
Authors Alex Gino and George M. Johnson and Activist Mary Beth Tinker Join the Speakers Lineup
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York)— Authors Alex Gino, and George M. Johnson and Activist Mary Beth Tinker will join a powerhouse lineup this fall for PEN America’s and the Brooklyn Public Library’s online student advocacy institutes to train students to champion free expression and combat book bans. The Free Expression Advocacy Institute (Sept. 20-Nov. 8) and the Freedom to Read Advocacy Institute (Oct. 19-Nov. 9), require advance registration by Fri. Sept. 15 for the Advocacy Institute and by Oct. 2 for the Freedom to Read Institute.
Free Expression Advocacy Institute
PEN America’s flagship Free Expression Advocacy Institute returns this fall as a free, online, eight-week, educational and training program where high school and college students get certified in mastering the theories, laws, histories, and methodologies behind free expression in order to become forceful advocates for positive change. Student attendees can expect to learn about human rights principles, unpack challenging free speech questions, and gain fundamental skills in fostering productive dialogue in their communities. Students can apply here by Friday, September 15 at the latest.
Wednesdays, September 20 – November 8 from 4:30 pm – 6:30pm ET
The program is online. More details here.
Authors, experts and professionals will include: American Free Speech Activist Mary Beth Tinker, known for the 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court case; Justice Singleton, Screenwriter, Director, Poet and Stand-up Comedian and child of acclaimed director John Singleton; New York Times-Bestselling Author, Eliot Schrefer, and NYC-based Teaching Artivist from Lebanon, Perla Joe Maalouly.
Freedom to Read Advocacy Institute
PEN America’s Freedom to Read Advocacy Institute in collaboration with Brooklyn Public Library is our second, free online Institute offering this fall consisting of four weekly convenings to equip high school students across America with the skills needed to combat censorship and fight for the freedom to read in their schools, libraries, and communities. This Institute covers advocacy and organizing tactics while delving into First Amendment essentials and introducing students to successful peer organizers and notable author allies. Students can apply here by Monday, October 2 at the latest.
Thursdays, October 19 through November 9 from 7:00 pm – 9:00pm ET
The program is online. More details here.
The Freedom to Read Institute this fall features powerhouse writers George M Johnson, the award-winning Author of All Boys Aren’t Blue, and Alex Gino, the award-winning Author of Melissa, as well a panel of prominent student activists Christina Ellis and Edha Gupta from York County, Pennsylvania, Zander Morris and Ella Souflis from Florida, to be moderated by writer, author, and journalist Rainesford Stauffer.
ABOUT PEN AMERICA:
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.
ABOUT BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY:
Brooklyn Public Library is the force behind Books Unbanned, a nationwide campaign to provide young people free access to books without restriction. The librarians and staff behind the program are Library Journal’s librarians of the year.
Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st-century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.7 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 60,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. We give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.
Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057