NEW YORK – The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) continues to build expertise in the fields of law, publishing, and the arts by adding to its board of directors Ambika Kumar, Co-Chair of Media Law Practice at Davis Wright Tremaine, Tony Lyons, President and Publisher of Skyhorse Publishing, and Sheryl Oring, artist and Dean of the School of Art, University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
“NCAC’s unwavering dedication to protecting artistic free expression across all cultural domains fuels its push to diversify our leadership,” said NCAC Board President Emily Knox. “We are honored that Ambika, Sheryl, and Tony have joined NCAC at a time when advocates for free speech are working to meet the increase in demand from artists for resources to combat attacks on artistic expression both online and in community spaces.”
Ambika Kumar, co-chair of the media law practice at Davis Wright Tremaine LLC, is a widely recognized expert in handling the legal risks associated with online content. She has a deep understanding of how free speech principles apply to rapidly evolving technology and has represented clients in cutting-edge lawsuits regarding content liability and electronic privacy. Some of the world’s top technology and media companies rely on Ambika’s direct, honest guidance and strong legal advocacy.
Ambika has extensive experience defending clients under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and other federal protections for user-generated content. She has successfully defeated attempts to censor or challenge such content in courts across the country. Additionally, Ambika regularly advises and litigates on matters related to First Amendment, defamation, copyright, and trademark, as well as public records, reporter’s privilege, and courtroom access for a diverse range of clients.
Tony Lyons, President & Publisher of Skyhorse Publishing, one of the fastest-growing independent book publishers in the United States, offers a wealth of experience in the publishing industry. Prior to founding Skyhorse in 2006, Lyons served as the Publisher at The Lyons Press from 1997 to 2004. Lyons takes a hands-on approach to overseeing all aspects of book publishing at Skyhorse. Under his leadership, the company has flourished from a small team to a prominent mid-sized publisher of more than 9,500 titles, including 56 New York Times bestsellers, a testament to his leadership and vision. Per a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, “his willingness to publish what others won’t have made Skyhorse not only a bulwark of dissent across the political spectrum but also a stronghold of literary culture against its self-righteous antagonists.”
Sheryl Oring is an artist and Dean of the School of Art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she leads all aspects of the school. Sheryl has created large-scale public artworks addressing First Amendment rights and civic engagement for over two decades. With her I Wish to Say project, she has typed over 4,000 postcards to U.S. presidents at hundreds of locations nationwide. Her book, Activating Democracy: The I Wish to Say Project, was published by the University of Chicago Press.
In Berlin, she created the sculptural installation Writer’s Block as a tribute to the authors whose books were burned in Nazi Germany; the work premiered on Bebelplatz and was later shown at the Jewish Museum Berlin as well as locations in Budapest, Boston, and New York. Sheryl holds an MFA in Visual Art from the University of California, San Diego, and a BS in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the first artist to join the NCAC board.
Additional information regarding NCAC’s mission and leadership is available at ncac.org. For artwork and headshots, please visit https://bit.ly/NCACBoardMembers.
About National Coalition Against Censorship
Since its inception in 1974, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has functioned as a first responder in protecting freedom of expression, a fundamental human right, and a keystone of democracy. Representing 59 national education, publishing, arts, and civil liberty organizations, NCAC encourages and facilitates dialogue between diverse voices and perspectives, including those that have historically been silenced.