When Books Are Threatened, Where Do We Turn?


Featuring Ibram X. Kendi, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Nic Stone in a conversation moderated by Dr. Emily Knox. Also featuring a special message from PEN America.

From Tennessee to Texas, book banning continues to make headlines across the United States. According to a recent New York Times piece, the American Library Association received an “‘unprecedented’ 330 reports of book challenges” last fall, and the executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship said “he has not seen this level of challenges since the 1980s.”

Facing threats of censorship and losing diverse perspectives, parents, teachers, and librarians are all asking the question When books are threatened, where do we turn? Join us on March 29th from 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM ET for an evening of programming in partnership with PEN America dedicated to examining this pressing question.

On the multi-faceted issue, we will hear from concerned citizens navigating pathways of access and resistance on the ground, as well as authors who have faced some of the harshest calls for banning. Additionally, a representative from PEN America will speak about how we can support our targeted communities. 

The event will culminate in a discussion with Ibram X. Kendi (How To Be An Antiracist), Nikole Hannah-Jones (The 1619 Project), and Nic Stone (Dear Martin), moderated by Dr. Emily Knox, associate professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Information Sciences. 

In this time of political polarization and where social justice is front and center in our consciousness, engaging many voices has never been more urgent. We hope you will join us. 

Random House is proud to partner with PEN America on this event.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free 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. 

We are steadfast advocates for a diverse literary landscape. We defend books and writers, safeguard the freedom to tell stories and uphold the right to share the knowledge and viewpoints of others. In support of this mission, PEN America is pushing back against the banning of books and the wave of intolerance, exclusion, and censorship sweeping through classrooms, school boards, and statehouses.

·       So, Your Book Has Been Challenged: A Tip Sheet for Authors 

·       How to Fight Book Bans: A Tip Sheet for Students

·       Support the Freedom to Read with PEN America

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