AWP Endorses PEN America’s Joint Statement Opposing Legislation Restricting Education

June 17, 2021

Empty desk and chair combinations in a university classroom

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs joins the American Historical Association, the American Association of University Professors, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and over 85 arts, education, and human rights organizations in signing PEN America’s “Joint Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism and American History.” The open letter serves as a unified voice against recent widespread efforts to pass legislation aimed at avoiding the teaching of “divisive concepts,” chief among them the role of race relations throughout US history and in the present day.

A portion of the statement reads: “Legislation cannot erase ‘concepts’ or history; it can, however, diminish educators’ ability to help students address facts in an honest and open environment capable of nourishing intellectual exploration.” AWP stands in support of academic freedom and defends the rights of educators and students to engage in open discussion about difficult topics. To read the full statement, please visit PEN America’s website.

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