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BOOKSELLING AND FREE EXPRESSION: A CONVERSATION
November 23 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am MST
The regional independent bookseller associations are pleased to invite you to a conversation about the intersection of bookselling and free expression. Understanding that it’s a complicated issue, we are creating a space for education and dialogue from a wide array of viewpoints. The goal is for everyone to come away with a framework to use when thinking about what free expression means for our stores (and ourselves). After the discussion, there will be an opportunity to talk through what you’ve heard and learned in smaller breakout groups.
Jonathan Friedman, Director of Education, PEN America
Jonathan Friedman is the director of free expression and education at PEN America. He oversees advocacy, analysis, and education for academic institutions, leading work related to academic freedom, campus speech, banned books in schools, and countering legislative restrictions on the freedom to learn. Friedman is an interdisciplinary scholar and frequently leads trainings and seminars for a range of audiences in the higher education sector and beyond on reconciling free expression with diversity, equity, and inclusion prerogatives in open, democratic societies.
Kenny Brechner, Owner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett, Farmington, ME
Kenny Brechner has owned and operated Farmington, ME’s independent bookstore, DDG Booksellers, for the last 30 years. Apart from being passionately engaged as a children’s book specialist, for which he was recognized with the 2014 Pannell Award and the 2015 Maine School Board Association Business Friend of Education Award, he also writes the Thursday Shelftalker children’s book blog for Publishers Weekly.
Josh Cook, Bookseller, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
Josh Cook is a bookseller at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he has worked since 2004. He is also the author of the pamphlet The Least We Can Do: White Supremacy, Free Speech, & Independent Bookstores, published by Biblioasis.
Luis Correa, Operations Manager, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA
Luis Correa is the operations manager for Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA. He is a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the American Booksellers Association and a SIBA Influencer.
Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Kiese Laymon, Ottilie Schillig Professor in English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi, is the author of the novel Long Division, the memoir Heavy, and the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.
Summer Lopez, PEN America, Free Expression Education Manager
Summer Lopez is PEN America’s senior director of Free Expression Programs. As a member of PEN America’s senior organizational leadership, she oversees domestic and international portfolios on a broad range of contemporary free expression issues, including advocacy, research, and programming related to digital rights, academic freedom, online abuse, disinformation, press freedom, and defending writers at risk. She has worked to advance democracy and human rights in the nonprofit and government sectors, including most recently as deputy director for the Office of Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance at the USAID Mission in Zimbabwe.
Vicky Titcomb, Owner, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA
Vicky Titcomb is celebrating 30 years of running her family’s bookstore, Titcomb’s Bookshop, on Cape Cod, which was started by her parents in 1969. She is a past co-chair of the New England Children’s Booksellers Advisory Council.
Derrick Young, Co-Owner, Mahogany Books, Washington, DC
Derrick A. Young is the Owner and Co-Founder of MahoganyBooks, a bookstore specializing in books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora. Under Derrick’s leadership as the chief visionary and strategist, MahoganyBooks has become an award-winning bookstore meeting the needs of readers across the country. Derrick is a native of Southeast Washington DC, a proud alum of Bowie State University, and passionate speaker on the subject of books and identity.
- November 23
10:00 am - 11:00 am MST