Press Release

Voters of Tomorrow To Distribute Copies of Banned Books

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02/02/2022

Contact:
Jack Lobel | Communications Director
communications@votersoftomorrow.org

Voters of Tomorrow To Distribute Hundreds of Copies of Challenged Books in Far-Right Controlled States

Voters of Tomorrow, a Gen Z-led non-profit that engages and represents young people in politics, announced today that they are distributing hundreds of copies of Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Art Spiegelman’s Maus, two books that are under attack by Republican lawmakers. The group released the following statement, which can be attributed to spokesperson Jack Lobel:

“Voters of Tomorrow is fighting back against the far-right’s attempts to eliminate essential pieces of history and literature from our school curricula. Our youth-led group will give away hundreds of copies of Beloved and Maus, two books that are currently being challenged by a growing list of politicians crusading against students’ right to an accurate and complex historical education, to students beginning in early February.

“At the top of the list of far-right book-banners stand Governors Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and Greg Abbott of Texas. Governor Youngkin proudly campaigned as a book-banner, and Governor Abbott is promoting homophobia and erasing LGBTQ+ conversations with his pro-censorship demands. Our coalition of young people is bringing the fight directly to their states, showing these elected officials that we will not allow them to take control of our education for political gain.”

Voters of Tomorrow Executive Director Santiago Mayer, a college student in California, said: “Understanding history is critical to being civically active citizens. As young people ourselves, we recognize that equipping students with the historical education they need is one of schools’ most essential functions. We will continue to stand up for students and fight interference by lawmakers.”

Voters of Tomorrow Senior Advisor Yohuru Williams, an education activist and the founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas, said: “Great books explore the complexity of life and the depth of the human condition. Beloved and Maus are examples of works that, in taking on historical subjects, allow students to explore not only the past but the full range of the human experience. With books like these as part of curricula, young people consider how we might avoid the costly blunders of the shortsighted and indifferent people of bygone eras by facing them with courage today.”

Voters of Tomorrow Senior Advisor Sari Beth Rosenberg, a New York public school U.S. history teacher, said: “It is crucial that young people have discussions on race, racism, gender, and American history in school. These bills function as educational gag orders designed to whitewash history and prevent young people from learning about these topics in school. By banning Pulitzer Prize-winning books such as Maus and Beloved, school districts and states are depriving young people an equal and well-rounded education to their peers in states without these so-called ‘divisive issues’ bills. They undermine young people’s ability to engage in meaningful and complex discussions about history and literature. Students deserve so much better.”

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