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"Challenges to Intellectual Freedom Then and Now" Panel Discussion at Cranston Public Library

"Challenges to Intellectual Freedom Then and Now" Panel Discussion at Cranston Public Library

CRANSTON - Book challenges and threats to intellectual freedom are on the rise nationwide, and community support for public libraries is more important than ever. The Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center and the Cranston Public Library will present a panel discussion at the Central Library at 140 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston, RI, 02920, on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at 6:30 PM examining the historical context of intellectual freedom and how we can respond and advocate for these institutions and freedoms in the present. Bringing together historians, public librarians, and free speech advocates, this event will highlight the importance of protecting and advocating for institutions that enable a free and pluralistic society.

“Banning access to reading materials is not only an injustice for children and adults alike,” says Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center Executive Director Wendy Joering, “but also prohibits the opportunity to learn and creates a barrier in our society that ignites a culture of fear and is a threat to our democracy.”

This panel discussion and audience Q&A will be moderated by Tayla Cardillo, chair of the RI Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee, and feature opening remarks from library trustee Michael Goldberg. Panelists include: Brigitte Hopkins and Bill Lancellotta from the Westerly Library; Steven Brown, Executive Director of the Rhode Island ACLU; and Michael Bryant, Professor of History and Legal Studies at Bryant University.

"The Cranston Public Library has a deep commitment to Intellectual Freedom,” says Cranston Public Library Director Ed Garcia. “We are honored to partner with the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center for this conversation on why libraries are fundamental to a free and open society for all to exercise their freedom of information."

This Banned Books Week event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center at 401-453-7860 or info@hercri.org.

The Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center teaches the history of the Holocaust in order to promote human dignity and justice, and to serve as a memorial to its victims. SBHEC serves to bear witness to the Holocaust and to honor those who perished. We strive to reduce prejudice against all minorities by teaching about the experience of the Jews, and of the suffering of other peoples because of hate and bigotry. We seek to ensure that every human being in our world has the same measure of dignity.


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