Ideas for Organizing Your Community
Start a student group: Bring students together at your school! You can start a club to discuss how you can combat classroom censorship. Find allies in your educators, librarians, and administrators to support your work.
Join an existing group: In your state, region, or local community, there might be coalitions or organizations that have a pre-existing infrastructure. If they’re already working on equity in education and curriculum, join them! If not, ask if they might be able to start working on this issue with you.
Create a banned book club: Banned books clubs can spark important conversations about issues of classroom censorship and help students access important stories they might be missing. Not sure where to start? First, review our round-up of 10 Books Politicians Don’t Want You to Read. Then, once you’ve selected a book, check out the Banned Books Book Club fund where you can request specific titles be sent to your club, or explore the Brooklyn Public Library’s free eCard program.Here are sample discussion questions to guide your book club conversation:
- What did you think about the book?
- Many book bans currently happening across the country target books that discuss topics around race, gender, and sexuality. Were there any themes around race/gender/sexuality in this novel that resonated or stood out to you?
- Why do you think this book was banned?
- One of the most common reasons for banning a book is due to “age-appropriateness.” What does this mean to you? Do you think this is a valid reason?
- Do you think this book should be banned from schools and public libraries? Why or why not?
Activate your PTA: Parent-teacher associations (PTAs) are meant to give parents a voice and role in supporting their child’s school. PTAs are important for making demands of a school not only because there is power in collective action, but because — as contributors to the school in the form of donations and volunteer hours — PTAs can have a lot of influence on school policy. Working within the PTA to make demands of your child’s school is a great way to use existing infrastructure to exercise your voice as a parent.
Write and Submit a Letter to the Editor
Letters to the editor are an important way to bring your message to a broader audience. Letters to the editor, or guest opinion pieces, are an especially powerful tool when they draw upon the author’s experience. As students, parents, and community members who are grappling with issues of inclusive education and classroom censorship, your contribution is important to this conversation. Below is our People Power letter to the editor guide, with useful information about structure, format and talking points for your letter.