Thursday, September 23, 2010

SPEAK LOUDLY Pt II: "Let Us Read & Let Us Dance - two amusements that will never do harm to the world." (Voltaire)

I came across this on Twitter today...

"ashleylawless_@TheEllenShow we need your help!!! please read my letter to you here! #speakloudly." 

Ashley is reaching out to Ellen DeGeneres via her talk show to fight censorship in her school (this in response to the Wesley Scroggins opinion piece that urges schools to remove certain books from classrooms and equated Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak to porn - see my previous posting, SPEAK LOUDLY: Fight For Your Right To Read, Write, SPEAK & Be Heard). Ashley, along with four of her friends, are seniors at Republic High School in Republic, Missouri - where Scroggins is recommending the removal of Speak, as well as 20 Boy Summer and Slaughterhouse Five, from the school curriculum. She wrote an open letter to Ellen on her blog in hopes to bring awareness of "serious problems that are happening in small communities all over. We want to spread the word. We don’t want this to happen to other schools and deprive other students’ educations." (you can read the letter in it's entirety here.)

I think what these young people are doing is AMAZING! Help me show my support for them and the cause (which is something I myself am very passionate about). Retweet her tweet, share their letter with everyone you know and contact Ellen in support of their cause. Ellen reaches millions of people everyday through her talk show and could be a HUGE voice in the fight against censorship. You can contact Ellen via her show's website here, her official Twitter page here, and her official Facebook page here.

To Ashley, Alivia, Lauren, Weston and Kaity...I think that what you are doing - standing up and bringing awareness to something you believe in - is truly incredible! We live in a society that, unfortunately, is growing more and more apathetic to real issues, instead spending countless hours discussing the most recent escapades of Lindsay Lohan and the Kardashian sisters. Most people just sit and complain about things anymore, rather than speaking up and taking action.  Elie Wiesel once said, "There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." It is exciting and hopeful to see young people stand up and take action on such an important issue as censorship. KUDOS to you all and Best of Luck!

*Also, a reminder to continue to follow and support Paul Hankins' #SpeakLoudly Campaign on Twitter. You can find the #SpeakLoudly Twitterfeed here and you can now get your #SpeakLoudly Twibbon for your Twitter avatar and Facebook HERE, as well as #SpeakLoudly Twibutes and backgrounds HERE.

You don't need to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.
~ Ray Bradbury

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