Organizations That Protect Students’ Access to Inclusive Books & Learning Materials

In the April, 2023 issue of Equity & Access, we focus on a controversy that’s brewing in K-12 education: The removal of specific books and learning materials from school libraries, classrooms and curricula. We believe strongly that when schools value diversity, equity and inclusion, everyone benefits. Naturally, we oppose any effort to censor inclusive content and we encourage our members, readers, and the education community to take action.

  • Be there for teachers who are providing each child with an equitable learning environment, grounded in empathy and mutual respect.
  • Speak out against calls to prevent children’s access to learning materials that celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Donate. Volunteer. Leverage your skills and expertise to be instrumental in building a foundation that allows all children to see themselves in the content they’re learning.

This is how you build a just and civil society

Below are some organizations that are taking action on book bans, content removal and censorship in American K-12 schools throughout the nation. We’re right there with them and we encourage you to get in touch and get involved.

Freedom to Read Foundation: FTRF, an organization affiliated with the American Library Association, actively advocates for academic freedom and the First Amendment rights of libraries and library users. Learn more at ftrf.org.

American Library Association: The ALA actively fights against censorship through its Office for Intellectual Freedom, which provides resources and support for libraries facing challenges to the inclusion of diverse books and curricula. Learn more at ala.org.

Project Censored: Project Censored promotes media literacy and works to expose and oppose censorship in American media and schools. Learn more at projectcensored.org/.

Learning for Justice: This publication by the Southern Poverty Law Center promotes accessible diverse learning materials and helps educators create inclusive school environments. Learn more at learningforjustice.org.

The National Council of Teachers of English: NCTE supports teachers in their efforts to teach diverse literature and curricula in schools. Learn more at ncte.org.

Lambda Legal: Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of LGBTQ+ rights. They often fight against censorship of LGBTQ+ literature in schools. Learn more at lambdalegal.org.

GLAAD: GLAAD promotes fair and inclusive representation of LGBTQ+ people in media and opposes the censorship of LGBTQ+-inclusive books and curricula. Learn more at glaad.org.

American Federation of Teachers: The AFT has taken a strong stance against book bans and censorship in schools, advocating for academic freedom and the right of students to access diverse and inclusive materials. Learn more at aft.org.

Anti-Defamation League: The ADL fights against antisemitism and all forms of hate, supporting educators who face censorship of inclusive materials. Learn more at adl.org.

Council on American-Islamic Relations: CAIR advocates for the civil rights of American Muslims and supports the inclusion of diverse voices and materials in education. Learn more at cair.com.

American Booksellers for Free Expression: ABFE supports the rights of booksellers to provide diverse and inclusive books, opposing censorship efforts in schools and communities. Learn more at bookweb.org/abfe.

National Center for Transgender Equality: NCTE advocates for the rights of transgender people, including access to inclusive educational materials. Learn more at transequality.org.

The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project supports LGBTQ+ youth, advocating for inclusive and affirming educational materials in schools. Learn more at thetrevorproject.org.

National Coalition Against Censorship: NCAC is dedicated to defending freedom of expression and the right to access information. They offer resources, legal advice, and advocacy support to fight censorship in schools. Learn more at ncac.org.

PEN America: PEN America champions the freedom to write and works to protect free expression in the United States. They provide resources, advocacy, and support to fight censorship in schools. Learn more at pen.org.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: CBLDF is dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of comic creators, publishers, and retailers. They provide legal support and resources to fight censorship in schools. Learn more at cbldf.org.

Haymarket Books: Haymarket publishes books that offer alternative perspectives and challenge dominant narratives in academia and society at large. Learn more at haymarketbooks.org.

Rethinking Schools: Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization dedicated to equity and social justice in education. Learn more at rethinkingschools.org.

National Center for Science Education: NCSE defends the teaching of evolution and climate science in public schools. Learn more at ncse.ngo.

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