Loading Events


Banned Books Week 2022 Launch Event, Thursday, Sept 15 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/5pm PCT

Date & Time
September 15, 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT

  • This event has passed.

Jailed for Words and Art: Uplifting Critical Voices and Fighting Censorship

You have the right to say what you think, share information and demand a better world. Exercising these rights – without fear or unlawful interference – is central to living in an open and fair society. Yet across the globe governments have increased censorship and routinely imprison people for speaking out!  

This event will feature the works of critical voices that governments are trying to silence. We will hear from local advocates who work to promote and protect free speech!   

Event Registration: https://bit.ly/3Bsnas5 

Speakers include:

  • Emily Knox is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her book, Book Banning in 21st Century America (Rowman & Littlefield) is the first monograph in the Beta Phi Mu Scholars’ Series. She also recently edited Trigger Warnings: History, Theory, Context (Rowman & Littlefield) and co-edited Foundations of Information Ethics (ALA). Her articles have been published in the Library QuarterlyLibrary and Information Science Research, and the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy. Knox serves on the boards of Beta Phi Mu and the National Coalition Against Censorship. Her research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. She is also a member of the Mapping Information Access research team. She received her PhD from the doctoral program at the Rutgers University School of Communication & Information. Her master’s in library and information science is from the iSchool at Illinois. She also holds a BA in religious studies from Smith College and an AM in the same field from The University of Chicago Divinity School.


  • Martha Hickson has been a high school librarian since 2005. A graduate of the Rutgers University School of Communication & Information, Martha has written for School Library Journal, Booklist, KnowledgeQuest, the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Blog, NJEA Review, and School Librarian’s Workshop. She has been a presenter at conferences and webinars, including the American Association of School Librarians, Future Ready Librarians, the New Jersey Library Association, and the New Jersey Association of School Librarians. Her defense of intellectual freedom has been recognized with awards from the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, the New Jersey Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians, and the National Council of Teachers of English. In 2022, the National Coalition Against Censorship presented Martha with the Judith Krug Outstanding Librarian Award and the American Library Association presented her with the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity in recognition of her “energy and bravery in the face of … persistent and ongoing hostility,” while advocating for students’ First Amendment right to read.


  • Cameron Samuels (they/them) recently graduated from the Katy Independent School District in Texas where they organized FReadom Week, a district-wide effort that began the distribution of 700+ challenged and banned books across Texas. Once the only student to speak at school board meetings, Samuels built a student-led movement within months by packing board meetings to stand up for the Freedom to Read.


  • Elise Auerbach is the Amnesty International USA country specialist for Iran. She has been a country specialist in the AIUSA Middle East Coordination Group since 1995. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Elise also works closely with other country specialists on the AIUSA Refugee Casework Committee to provide support to asylum seekers and others seeking relief. She is also a long-time member of AIUSA local group 113 in Chicago and was coordinator of the group from 1994-2004.

To learn more about AI’s 2022 Banned Books Cases and Resources: https://www.amnestyusa.org/banned-books-2022/