First Amendment

National Coalition Against Censorship Launches Map Tracking Art Censorship Since October 7th

By |2024-07-18T16:16:22-04:00July 18th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) announces the launch of a new resource, Art Censorship Index: Post-October 7th, documenting the recent spike in censorship of art and artists invoking Israel or Palestine.  Artworks and artists referencing the subject of Israel and Palestine have long been subjects of controversy and/or censorship, but following the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel and [...]

NCAC Decries Exhibition Cancellation at Craft Alliance

By |2024-07-10T14:14:19-04:00July 10th, 2024|News, Statement|

Dani Collette and Allora McCullough, Planting Seeds, Sprouting Hope, 2024, Installation view. Today the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) expressed alarm at the cancellation of an exhibition at Craft Alliance, an art organization in St. Louis, MO. Following a complaint from a volunteer, the venue asserted that the project, which draws attention to the plight [...]

Greenville County School board removes books against recommendation of review committee

By |2024-06-20T16:30:20-04:00June 20th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the board of Greenville County Schools in South Carolina regarding the removal of Ellen Hopkins' Perfect and Tilt and Sarah J. Maas' Empire of Storms from high school libraries. The review committee evaluated these books and concluded that they should remain in the library. The school board, however, overruled the recommendations [...]

NCAC recommends policy changes for Cameron R-1 School District in Missouri

By |2024-06-14T12:26:54-04:00June 14th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Cameron School District in Missouri after school administrators reviewed a dozen school library books and then restricted some of them. NCAC recommended changes to the district's policy to include a diverse review committee for adjudicating future book challenges. Read NCAC's full letter to the Cameron School District here:Click here for [...]

NCAC and Eleven Other Groups Rebuke Congressional Committees’ Request for Suspicious Activity Reports of Non-Profit Organizations

By |2024-05-17T10:18:33-04:00May 17th, 2024|News, Statement|

Today, along with eleven other free expression groups, NCAC issued a letter to two congressional committees regarding their request to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) of twenty groups that the committees alleged had supported or funded recent college protests.  NCAC's deep concern stems from both the breadth of the committees' requests for records (20 organizations, without [...]

NCAC: ARTSPACE’S VAGUE POLICIES RESTRICTING “INAPPROPRIATE,” “SENSITIVE” ARTWORKS THREATEN ARTISTIC FREEDOM ACROSS THE U.S.

By |2024-03-20T13:09:03-04:00March 20th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) raised concerns today that Artspace, the nation’s leading developer of arts facilities, has repeatedly censored artworks presented on their properties. Since 2017, NCAC has been made aware of three incidents resulting in the removal of arts displays, as well as the 2023 ousting of an artist subtenant as punishment for an exhibition of [...]

St. Johns County School District in Florida improperly removes library books without following procedure

By |2024-03-07T13:03:29-05:00March 7th, 2024|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the school board of St. Johns County School District in  St. Augustine, Florida to express our concern that the district is not following their policy when conducting reviews of books with sexual content. Read NCAC's full letter to the St. Johns County School District here: Click here for a full-screen view: [...]

Unwavering Advocates: NCAC, FIRE And Other Free Speech Advocates Defend Free Speech at the Supreme Court in Murthy v. Missouri

By |2024-03-20T10:13:59-04:00February 16th, 2024|News, Statement|

In a key legal filing last month, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), in collaboration with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and other free speech organizations, took a bold step in the ongoing battle for free speech. Together, they filed an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court in Murthy v. Missouri, challenging government overreach and defending the [...]

NCAC Condemns Biden Administration’s Attempts to Coerce Amazon Into Censorship

By |2024-02-09T14:17:49-05:00February 9th, 2024|Press Releases|

Recent news reports have surfaced, revealing attempts by the Biden administration to pressure Amazon to censor controversial anti-vaccine books and search results. According to the reports, representatives of the Biden administration have urged Amazon executives to take action against books that the administration has deemed to contain misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and vaccines. The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) condemns [...]

Echoes of McCarthy: Criticizing Israel and Charges of Antisemitism

By |2024-07-17T16:00:40-04:00January 25th, 2024|News|

Just two months before the long-planned February opening of Samia Halaby’s art retrospective, Indiana University (IU) abruptly canceled the show, citing vague concerns “about guaranteeing the integrity of the exhibit.” But the concerns had nothing to do with Halaby’s colorful abstractions. The last time abstract works were controversial in the United States was during the McCarthy era, when Congressman [...]

NCAC urges Indiana University to Reschedule Exhibition of Abstract Artist Samia Halaby

By |2024-01-11T17:17:15-05:00January 11th, 2024|Letters, News|

Today, NCAC issued a letter of concern to the leadership of Indiana University, imploring the university to reverse its December 2023 decision to cancel the upcoming retrospective exhibition of renowned Palestinian-American abstract painter, Samia Halaby. “Samia Halaby: Centers of Energy” was to open in February at the university’s Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art and feature more than [...]

NCAC recommends policy changes to North Syracuse Central School District in New York

By |2023-12-01T12:40:22-05:00December 1st, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the North Syracuse Central School District in New York to encourage them to amend their policies. The suggested revisions will allow access to challenged materials to remain unrestricted during the review process.  Read NCAC's full letter to the North Syracuse Central School District here: Click here for a full-screen view: [...]

NCAC protests improper removal of over 100 books in Kentucky school district

By |2023-11-08T14:44:47-05:00November 8th, 2023|News|

Boyle County Schools in Kentucky has improperly removed over 100 books because they claim they are required to do so under Kentucky law SB 150. The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to inform them that the law does not apply to library books and to demand that the books be returned. Read NCAC's full letter to the Boyle [...]

Middle East Conflict Fallout: A culture of fear and anger takes over US cultural institutions

By |2024-04-11T14:40:10-04:00November 8th, 2023|News|

Intimidation, doxing, blacklists, cancellations. In the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s retaliatory bombardment of Gaza, a wave of extreme intolerance towards speech critical of Israel and supportive of Palestine has swept across cultural and educational institutions. In the United States and Europe, students and professors are being penalized, writers canceled, and artists censored for expressing [...]

Día de los Muertos altar sparks controversy over inclusion of Palestinian flag

By |2023-11-06T16:55:16-05:00November 6th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship is alarmed by the recent decision of El Museo del Barrio, a museum in upper Manhattan, to cancel the display of Recordar y Unificar, a Día de los Muertos altar it commissioned from artists Odalys Burgoa and Roy Baizan, for the sole reason that the work includes a scarf with the Palestinian flag on [...]

Artistic Expression Under Fire: Controversy in the Catherine Schweinsberg Rood Central Library

By |2023-10-24T12:09:30-04:00October 24th, 2023|News|

In Brevard County, Florida, an artist and member of the Central Brevard Art Association (CBAA), John Cielukowski, participated in the Association's "Art in Public Spaces" initiative, which hangs art in publicly-owned buildings. For the Catherine Schweinsberg Rood Central Library, the artist submitted his painting A Mother's Love, which depicts a mother cow with an ear tag, separated from her [...]

NCAC’s Student Advocates for Speech leader Julia Garnett receives White House honor

By |2023-10-12T13:43:45-04:00October 11th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK - In celebration of International Day of the Girl, First Lady Jill Biden will honor Julia Garnett, a 17-year-old Student Advocates for Speech (SAS) leader from Hendersonville, Tennessee.  Garnett is one of 15 young women selected by the White House Gender Policy Council who lead change and shape a brighter future in their communities across the United [...]

NCAC offers anti-censorship resources during Banned Books Week

By |2023-09-29T07:26:39-04:00September 29th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK— The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) offers anti-censorship resources as libraries, bookstores, and schools nationwide celebrate Banned Books Week, October 1 – 7, 2003, a weeklong celebration of the freedom to read – at a time when book challenges and bans are at record levels. “With the continued rise of book censorship, there has never  been a more [...]

Over 150 books have been restricted at St. Tammany Parish Library in Louisiana | Updated

By |2023-10-26T14:16:58-04:00September 22nd, 2023|News|

Updated 10/25/2023 — The St. Tammany Parish Library Board of Control has voted unanimously to reverse their book review policy which had restricted access to over 150 books in line with NCAC's recommendations. 9/21/2023 – The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the St. Tammany Parish Library in Covington, Louisiana after the library limited access to over 150 [...]

NCAC, ACLU-AZ caution of pyrrhic victory as Mesa vows tighter controls over its arts center

By |2023-09-12T18:00:44-04:00September 12th, 2023|News|

MESA, ARIZONA - Today, the National Coalition Against Censorship's (NCAC) Arts and Culture Advocacy Program (ACAP) and the ACLU of Arizona released a joint statement responding to the City of Mesa's pledge to exercise greater control over artistic content in future exhibitions at Mesa Arts Center, which may lead to the prohibition of artwork that is deemed "controversial" or "critical" of government agencies. This commitment comes on the heels of the local and national [...]

NCAC Board President Emily Knox to testify before U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Book Ban Surge

By |2023-09-12T15:08:09-04:00September 11th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK - On September 12, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Emily Knox, the Board President of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), is set to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The hearing, titled Book Bans: Examining How Censorship Limits Liberty and Literature, will address the alarming increase in book censorship. A live video [...]

NCAC opposes effort to restrict AP African American Studies in Arkansas

By |2023-08-21T14:00:02-04:00August 21st, 2023|News|

NEW YORK - The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) is an alliance of national nonprofit groups dedicated to protecting freedom of expression, including the rights of K-12 students, teachers, and staff. NCAC released the following statement to oppose the Arkansas Department of Education's restrictions on Advanced Placement African American Studies. On Saturday, August 12, the Arkansas Department of Education [...]

NCAC urges Iowa Department of Education to issue Senate File 496 guidance to prevent confusion among school districts

By |2023-08-17T15:04:24-04:00August 17th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to urge the Iowa Department of Education to issue guidance regarding Senate File 496, which restricts instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation, and removes school library books with sexual content. We are concerned that the vague law is creating confusion in Iowa school districts and will harm students because it encourages schools [...]

NCAC recommends book review policy changes to the Craven County Board of Education in North Carolina

By |2023-08-16T16:59:58-04:00August 16th, 2023|News|

Following news reports of 11 books being challenged in school libraries in the Craven County School District in North Carolina, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to the school board to recommend changes in their procedures for addressing objections to books and other material. The district’s policy provides few safeguards against the danger that books might be [...]

NCAC to Celebrate Free Speech Defenders Juno Dawson, Coco Fusco, John Sargent, Madeline Scotti, Nadine Strossen

By |2023-08-21T16:59:30-04:00August 14th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK— Every year, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) honors leaders in the fight for free speech defenders during its benefit, LET ME SPEAK: a Celebration & Benefit of Free Speech & Its Defenders. This year’s event, presented by Macmillan Publishers, will highlight the contributions of Juno Dawson, Coco Fusco, John Sargent, Madeline Scotti, and Nadine Strossen. Critically acclaimed [...]

NCAC, ACLU of Arizona, demand the immediate rescheduling of exhibit that features Shepard Fairey’s “My Florist is a Dick”

By |2023-08-11T11:23:02-04:00August 10th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK - In a joint letter, the National Coalition Against Censorship’s (NCAC) Arts and Culture Advocacy Program (ACAP) and the ACLU of Arizona demand that officials in Mesa, Arizona, allow the opening of an art exhibit, Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent, which includes a controversial work, My Florist is a Dick, by renowned artist Shepard Fairey. City officials [...]

Montgomery County, Texas, library system forced to label and restrict access to children’s books

By |2023-08-10T14:16:52-04:00August 10th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) sent a letter to the Montgomery County Commissioners Court in Conroe, Texas, expressing concern over the recent decision to label certain children's books as containing "explicit or questionable materials" and potentially relocate them to the library's adult section. Labeling and segregating books is ill-advised and conflicts with the stated goals of the Montgomery [...]

Don’t Turn School Libraries Into Detention Centers

By |2023-08-07T18:18:17-04:00August 2nd, 2023|News|

In a decision that is so shocking it sounds like satire, the new, state-appointed superintendent of the Houston Independent School District has announced plans to eliminate library staff from 28 schools and turn the libraries into detention centers for misbehaving students.  Following a takeover of underperforming Houston schools by the state of Texas, Superintendent Mike Miles described the repurposing of [...]

NCAC, ACLU NorCal encourage the City of San Mateo, California, to reinstate Public Art Exhibit Program | Updated

By |2023-08-08T10:02:42-04:00July 28th, 2023|News|

Update 8/7/2023: The City of San Mateo has responded that it will reinstate its public exhibition programs after it establishes a more detailed review policy for the artworks that are invited for display. The City also confirms Mr. Rios' exhibition was met with "concerns from members of the public and City staff that the display was not supportive of [...]

NCAC urges New Hanover County, North Carolina, school board to reject challenge against “Stamped” 

By |2023-07-26T16:08:47-04:00July 26th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written a letter to the school board of New Hanover County, North Carolina, urging them to reject a challenge to the book, Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You, authored by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. The board is set to review the complaint after it was already rejected twice by reconsideration committees. A parent [...]

Hernando County, Florida school board removes “Marvin Redpost: Is He a Girl?”

By |2023-07-25T19:33:29-04:00July 25th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship recently wrote a letter to the School Board of Hernando County School District in Brooksville, Florida, regarding their choice to remove Louis Sachar's "Marvin Redpost: Is He a Girl?" from elementary school libraries. This decision was made despite a review committee's recommendation to keep the book. The board's action appears to be based on [...]

Lee Rowland named National Coalition Against Censorship Executive Director

By |2023-08-08T11:42:45-04:00July 24th, 2023|News|

NEW YORK – The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), an alliance of 59 national non-profit organizations, today announced that Lee Rowland, the policy director at the New York Civil Liberties Union, will become its new executive director. She replaces Christopher Finan, who is retiring.  Rowland will assume her new duties on September 13, 2023. “The NCAC board of directors [...]

Ambika Kumar, Tony Lyons, Sheryl Oring join NCAC Board

By |2023-07-17T10:45:16-04:00July 17th, 2023|News|

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, [...]

Free speech community opposes Rockwell Falls Public Library Board’s attack on First Amendment rights in Lake Luzerne, New York

By |2023-07-14T12:14:11-04:00July 14th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and members of the free speech community are alarmed by the Rockwell Falls Public Library Board's postponement and subsequent cancellation of an April 15 Drag Queen Story Hour, as well as recent suggestions from board members to remove any books that encompass LGBTQ+ themes or topics that purportedly relate to Critical Race Theory. [...]

NCAC responds to proposed Materials Review Policy updates in Sparta Township Schools, New Jersey

By |2023-07-06T12:49:19-04:00July 6th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has contacted the Sparta Township Board of Education in New Jersey regarding proposed updates to the Sparta Township Library Resource Materials Policy and Regulation. The NCAC has expressed concern about the policy's complete prohibition of books with "lewd or vulgar content," which NCAC fears may prevent older students from accessing educational materials. To [...]

Mansfield, Texas, School District proposed review policy remains problematic

By |2023-06-29T10:41:50-04:00June 29th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has contacted the school board in Mansfield, Texas, regarding a proposed library materials policy. NCAC shared our concern that the policy provision banning the discussion of "gender fluidity" violates the principles set forth by the Supreme Court in Board of Education v. Pico. Furthermore, NCAC is also concerned with the policy's blanket ban on [...]

NCAC commends New Jersey school district for upholding student rights and suggests improvements in its book reconsideration policy

By |2023-06-09T13:01:30-04:00June 9th, 2023|Letters, News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship wrote to the Roxbury Public Schools Board of Education in Succasunna, New Jersey, to commend its rejection of a motion to remove nine challenged books before they could be reviewed by a reconsideration committee. Additionally, NCAC recommended two changes to board policy that would increase public transparency in future book challenges. Read NCAC's full [...]

Challenged graphic novels in Newtown, Connecticut public schools face restriction or removal | Updated

By |2023-06-06T17:21:49-04:00June 1st, 2023|News|

Update 6/6/2023 – The School Board of Newtown has unanimously voted to retain the books, and will “implement a process to support choices of individual parents and guardians to make individual choices for their children.” 6/1/2023 – The National Coalition Against Censorship has contacted the Newtown Public School District in Connecticut. NCAC highlighted concerns that arose from challenges to [...]

Analysis: Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith

By |2023-06-01T16:08:08-04:00May 31st, 2023|News|

NCAC has obtained permission to share the following op-ed from artnet news, which was originally published on May 25, 2023. ARTNET NEWS OP-ED  Why the Supreme Court’s Decision in the Andy Warhol Copyright Case Shows the Dangers of a Sympathy Vote The former director of the ACLU’s Arts Censorship Project on the implications of 'Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith.' By [...]

NCAC urges reinstatement of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn marker in Concord, New Hampshire | UPDATED

By |2023-08-31T17:33:57-04:00May 22nd, 2023|Letters, News|

UPDATE 8/31/23: A lawsuit has been filed against the State of New Hampshire over the removal of the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn historical marker. The lawsuit alleges that state officials violated the state’s Administrative Procedures Act, its historic markers program, and the plaintiffs’ rights to due process by interfering with their rights to petition for the approval and erection of [...]