Suzanne Nossel Marks PEN America Centennial Calling for Renewed Defense of Free Speech

Suzanne Nossel (’97), CEO of PEN America, was quoted in The New York Times discussing the current climate of widespread intensifying threats to free speech as her organization commemorates a century defending it (“At PEN America, a Complicated Centennial for Free Speech,” Sep. 13). “We’re at a dangerous precipice. Young people have been alienated from the idea of free speech, and see it as a smoke screen for hatred and bigotry. At the same time, there are those who may call themselves standard bearers for free speech, but if you look at what they’re doing, they’re banning books, gagging curriculum, eviscerating free speech in our schools and universities.” Suzanne also called the recent attack on Salman Rushdie “a jolting reminder of why we do what we do, and how pervasive the threats are.” “This is a very personal catalyst to step it up,” she said.