This fall, PEN America established six new regional chapters in the United States. Founded in 1922, the esteemed organization has traditionally been associated with the coasts, operating offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
Now, chapters have launched in:
- Austin, Texas
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
- Detroit, Michigan
- The Piedmont Region of North Carolina
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
(Full disclosure: Deonna Kelli Sayed, the Membership Coordinator for NCWN, is the PEN America representative for The Piedmont Region of NC.)
The launch of these new chapters brings PEN America members together to stage writers in conversations, advocacy campaigns, public debates, and more, drawing on PEN Americaâ€™s national resources and the creative energy and priorities of the local literary community.
â€œAt a time of exceptional threats to free expression and open discourse, our chapters will bring years of mobilization, activism and organizing among writing communities across the country to the next level. We are exceptionally proud of the local leaders who are driving forward this effort,â€ said PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel. â€œOur movementâ€”called PEN Across Americaâ€”is pushing back against the breakdown of civil discourse, the marginalization of vital voices, and encroachments on press freedom, driving forward PEN Americaâ€™s mission at a time when it has never been more essential.â€™â€™
To find out more about The Piedmont Region of North Carolina chapter, and to sign up to receive more information, click here.
The next NC-based PEN America event is “Free Speech At a Time of Hate Speech,” which happens Wednesday, January 29, at the Greensboro History Museum.Â Jonathan Friedman, PEN’s Project Director of Campus Free Speech, will be joined by two others. For more about the event, click here.
PEN America is the largest of the more than 100 centers worldwide that make up the PEN International network. PEN America works to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. Their strength is our Membershipâ€”a nationwide community of more than 7,200 novelists, journalists, nonfiction writers, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other writing professionals, as well as devoted readers and supporters who join with them to carry out PEN Americaâ€™s mission.
For more information about PEN America, visit https://pen.org.