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Building Bridges: A Conversation About Book Banning
Building Bridges: A Conversation About Book Banning

Sun, Oct 22


Holocaust Museum LA

Building Bridges: A Conversation About Book Banning

Join moderator Allison Lee, Managing Director of Pen America in Los Angeles for this town-hall conversation featuring authors of banned books, and learn more about what communities can do to combat a growing movement to silence voices and stifle important histories.

Time & Location

Oct 22, 2023, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Holocaust Museum LA, 100 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA


According to PEN America, books are under profound attack in the United States. They are disappearing from library shelves, being challenged in droves, being decreed off limits by school boards, legislators, and prison authorities. And everywhere, it is the books that have long fought for a place on the shelf that are being targeted. Books by authors of color, by LGBTQ+ authors, by women. Books about racism, sexuality, gender, history. PEN America pushes back against the banning of books and the intolerance, exclusion, and censorship that undergird it.

Moderator ALLISON LEE serves as PEN America’s Los Angeles Managing Director. She brings extensive development, community engagement, and communications experience to the organization.

The panel discussion will feature authors whose books have been banned, including:

ELANA K. ARNOLD, the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel, the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of, and Global Read Aloud selection A Boy Called Bat and its sequels. Several of her books are Junior Library Guild selections and have appeared on many best book lists, including the Amelia Bloomer Project, a catalog of feminist titles for young readers. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and lives in Southern California with her family and menagerie of pets.

DR. ERIC CERVINI, an award-winning author, producer, and historian of LGBTQ+ politics. His first book, The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America, was a NYT bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It also won the Publishing Triangle’s Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, the NYT Editors’ Choice, and the “Best Read of 2020” at the Queerties.

TAIFHA ALEXANDER is the CRT Forward Project Director at UCLA School of Law's Critical Race Studies Program. Her legal research is at the intersection of law, critical race studies, higher education, social justice and equity. Alexander's groundbreaking work has garnered recognition in NPR, LAist, The New York Times, NBC, The Guardian, TIME, Associated Press, The Chicago Tribune and other local and national outlets.

A curated selection of banned books, including those by featured panelists, will be available to purchase from Flintridge Books at the event.


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