Free Expression

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 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 [...]

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 Joins EFF and Other Free Speech Organizations in Urging Supreme Court to Strike Down States’ Attempt to Regulate Social Media Speech

By |2023-12-14T10:53:21-05:00December 14th, 2023|Press Releases|

NEW YORK – The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), in collaboration with five prominent organizations, including Electronic Frontier Foundation, Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Authors Alliance, Fight for The Future, and First Amendment Coalition, have filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down laws in Florida and Texas that empower states to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of [...]

NCAC objects to the removal of 75 books from school libraries in Hanover County, Virginia

By |2023-12-12T12:11:36-05:00December 12th, 2023|News|

In November, the district administration of Hanover County Public Schools in Virginia improperly ordered 75 books be removed from school libraries.  The National Coalition Against Censorship has written a letter to the school board to urge them to rescind the order and to evaluate any challenged books using the proper criteria.  Read NCAC's full letter to the Hanover County Public [...]

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 [...]

A Massachusetts high school student was forced to remove clothing that expressed support for Palestine

By |2023-11-01T15:44:56-04:00November 1st, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the principal of Framingham High School after receiving reports that the school forced a student to remove a shirt that expressed support for Palestine. We understand that in some schools, the student's shirts may indeed create a risk for substantial disruption, however, we urge the school to ensure that they have taken [...]

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, 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 [...]

Free speech community demands Daytona State College reschedule “Stranger Fruit” exhibition

By |2023-09-11T12:12:48-04:00September 11th, 2023|News|

As nonpartisan organizations dedicated to freedom of speech, thought, and inquiry, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLU-FL), and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) are deeply disturbed by reports indicating that Daytona State College canceled an upcoming exhibition at the school's Southeast Museum of Photography because it refers to [...]

NCAC Launches Network of Local Groups to Fight Book Banning

By |2023-09-07T19:52:51-04:00September 7th, 2023|News|

New York, NY, September 7, 2023 – In response to the rapid expansion of organized politically partisan efforts to remove books from school and public library shelves, the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) announced today the launch of the Kids' Right to Read Network (KRRN), a network of local groups that are fighting for the freedom to read for [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

Through Don’t Delete Art Manifesto, Free Speech Orgs Combat Social Media Policies that Suppress Artistic Expression

By |2023-06-15T10:28:23-04:00June 15th, 2023|News, Press Releases|

NEW YORK— Don’t Delete Art (DDA)—a collaborative initiative uniting advocacy groups and artists in the defense of artistic freedom online—held A Day of Action today in New York City and online. The actions are an extension of the group’s Manifesto campaign, which urges social media companies to integrate artistic perspectives into content moderation policies. The day's activities are documented [...]

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 [...]

Hanover County (VA) School District receives advice from NCAC on book challenge policy | Updated

By |2023-06-21T11:54:09-04:00May 19th, 2023|Letters, News|

Updated 6/21/2023 – The Hanover County School Board has adopted some of the changes recommended by NCAC including that books will not always be removed pending adjudication if a complainant alleges that they are "pervasively vulgar." However, the policy remains problematic as the district has removed nineteen books from school libraries. 5/18/2023 –The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) recently [...]

Sarasota County Schools improperly removes Choke from school libraries

By |2023-05-12T16:22:32-04:00May 12th, 2023|Letters, News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the school board of Sarasota County Schools in Florida to protest a district administrator's removal of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke from high school libraries. This violates a board policy that bars administrators from removing books until the committee has reviewed them.Read NCAC's full letter to Sarasota County Schools here:Click here for a full-screen view: [...]

NCAC welcomes three new board members

By |2023-05-12T09:38:24-04:00May 12th, 2023|News, Press Releases|

NEW YORK - The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) continues to build influence in the fields of entertainment, law, and publishing by adding to its board Amy Berkower, president of Writers House LLC, Jonathan Bloom, former Counsel at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and stand-up comedian Judy Gold. The addition of new leadership comes at a [...]

School administration in Galesburg, MI, removes Gender Queer from libraries, violating review policy

By |2023-05-10T10:13:09-04:00May 10th, 2023|Letters, News|

According to news reports, Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools, in Galesburg, Michigan, has removed Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer from school libraries during the adjudication of the book challenge. The National Coalition Against Censorship objects to the violation of district policy, which states that material, "may not be withdrawn from use pending the committee's recommendation to the Superintendent." Read NCAC's full letter [...]

Middleborough, MA, student forbidden to wear shirt expressing political views

By |2023-05-09T00:51:13-04:00May 5th, 2023|News|

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written a letter to the Superintendent of Middleborough Public Schools in Middleborough,  Massachusetts, in response to a report that school officials in your district forbid a student from wearing a shirt that said: "there are only two genders." As the Supreme Court ruled in its landmark decision in Tinker v. Des Moines [...]