Celebrating 35 Years Defending Free Speech – A Night of Comedy with Judy Blume & friends

The National Coalition Against Censorship, an organization born out of a 1973 Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, celebrates its 35th anniversary, and sees no end in sight when it comes to censorship battles.

On October 19, NCAC and its supporters gathered to celebrate the organization’s 35th anniversary with a party honoring the much-celebrated, and much-censored author, Judy Blume. The benefit event at City Winery featured music, comedy and stories about the perils of growing up.

NCAC honored Blume, a longtime member of its board of directors, in recognition of her longstanding defense of free speech and her courageous battles against all kinds of censorship. Blume began to encounter challenges to her books in the early 1980s.  In 1983, she came to NCAC for assistance and, as she has frequently said, "NCAC changed my life."  Just as it did then, NCAC continues to offer support and assistance to authors, artists, students, and anyone else involved in a censorship controversy. 

In a video tribute presented at the event, comedian and actor Whoopi Goldberg noted, "Judy Blume’s books have had an effect on millions of people over several generations and across different countries.  Her books are among the most censored in the country. Now as unbelievable as that may be, we do need Judy and we need her books and we need every writer who attempts to write the truth."

For more videos, visit NCAC’s video channel on YouTube!

Elna Baker, Richard Belzer, Alice Eve Cohen, Junot Díaz, Rachel Dratch, Hannah Friedman, Liz Garbus, Martin Garbus, Judy Gold, Bob Holman, Michael Izquierdo, Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, Paul Mooney, Joe Paulik, Martha Plimpton, Amy Sohn, Lizz Winstead

With video trubutes by Michelle Branch, Whoopi Goldberg, Chelsea Handler, Mary-Louise Parker, Joan Rivers, Dar Williams

Check out Event Chair Dan Glickman’s Five Questions in the LA Times, and look for Judy Blume’s Bold Question in Oct 1st’s Time Out New York!  Also, listen to Judy talk with Oprah Radio host Galye King.  Additional coverage of the event include:

Dan Glickman, Chairman & CEO, Motion Picture Association of America

Jane Friedman, CEO, OpenRoad Integrated Media

Chip Gibson, President & Publisher, Random House Children’s Books

Caroline Hirsch, Owner, Carolines on Broadway

Michael Pietsch, Executive Vice President, Hachette Book Group & Publisher – Little, Brown and Company

Floyd Abrams, Lawrence Blume, Susan Clare & Peter Parker, James Cromwell, Christopher Durang, Mary Beth Edelson, Chris Finan, Eric M. Freedman & Melissa Nathanson, Suzanne Gluck, Phil Harvey, Marjorie Heins, George Kannar & Ellen V. Weissman, Marcelle Karp, Larry Keith, Patti Kenner, S Jay & Barbara Levy, Gail Markels, Carolee Schneeman, Jane Startz, R.L. & Jane Stine, Leonore Teifer, Eli Wallach & Anne Jackson, Joseph & Shirley Wershba, Victoria Wilson, Peter Workman, Peter Yarrow

Previous Celebrations of Free Speech and its Defenders