Censorship is not about paper, but about silencing the voices of others. This year, we’ve expanded our annual Banned Books Festival — April 2, 11 am to 12:30 pm at the meetinghouse — to include banned humans. This will remind everyone that banning books shuts out the stories of those whose choices and experiences highlight the reality and diversity of life in America. We are adding storytelling, as well.
Want to tell your story?
If you have a compelling story you’d like to share, please describe it briefly here and we will reach out to you. During the event, we will feature speakers who will share their personal stories. Sample stories include efforts to fully tell the history of Black Americans, stories of individuals oppressed by the dominant culture, First Nation individuals challenging notions of American exceptionalism, nonbinary or gender-neutral persons talking about the pressure of conformity, and stories from transgendered youth or from those in polyamory relationships.
If you’ve lived it and know books about the topic are being banned, we’d love to hear from you.
More ways to be involved
We’d love to have your help in one or more of the following ways:
- During the event, readers will volunteer to read 10-minute selections from banned books on one of three stages.
- Stage coordinators will remind participants when their time to read is coming up and alert readers that their time is ending.
- Roving musicians will provide musical interludes. There is also a stationary piano in the main room.
- Café staff to serve coffee and food and chefs to donate cookies, cakes, finger foods.
- Overseeing the craft table and other activities for young adults, scheduled in shifts.
If you can’t volunteer, but you would like to come and listen–welcome! Let’s work together to preserve free speech, an essential part of our democracy.
New books for young readers
We’re collecting new books at the festival, which will be distributed to young readers through the Bergen Family Center in Englewood. We are also accepting monetary donations at the festival toward the purchase of new books.
If you’re looking for suggestions, here’s a recommended reading list of inclusive, diverse books for young children, provided by HealthyChildren.org
Want to know more?
Authors say banning books is a political action intended to silence marginalized voices.
Sample the power of stories in a “human library.”