Can't Be Erased Rallying Against Book Bans and Curriculum Censorship

At the state and local level, decision-makers across the country continue to issue book bans and look for other means to restrict students’ access to honest history and a diversity of voices. This threatens not only students’ academic growth but also their ability to understand diverse cultures both in the U.S. and the world around them. 

Our nation’s students, more than half of whom are students of color, are already in dire need of more racially and culturally representation in curriculum. And yet, everything from books and instructional materials to statewide assessments enforces a predominantly white culture. 

The #CantBeErased campaign pushes back against curriculum censorship and the threats waged on schools and educators who dare to teach true American history and foster inclusion in their classrooms. Take action with the tools below. 

 

Watch the Can't Be Erased Event

An essential conversation on how to push back against efforts to suppress the teaching of honest history and diversity of identities and ideas.

Take Action Against Book Bans

RALLY – Messaging/Talking Points

RALLY designed a messaging guide to help advocates speak to their local, state and federal legislators, when opposing book bans and censorship.

Read the guide

 

PEN America – Tell Congress to Protect the Freedom to Read

A seventh-grader walks by a Black History Month display at Sutton Middle School on her way to class.In the 2022–23 school year, PEN America recorded 3,362 instances of books banned, an increase of 33 percent from the 2021–22 school year. Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Senator Brian Schatz (HI) introduced a resolution condemning book bans. Urge your members of congress to support the Banned Books Resolution today.

Support the resolution

 

Unite Against Book Bans – Grassroots Organization Against Book Bans

Young girl reading a book at a table in a libraryBook and curriculum censorship efforts are increasing across the nation, so it’s important to be prepared in case a challenge occurs in your community. Unite Against Book Bans developed this guide to help organize against attempted book bans at the local level.

Read the guide

 

National Coalition Against Censorship – School Book Challenge Resource Center
Black girl reading a children's bookThe National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) provides a book challenge resource center that includes resources for authors of challenged books, guidelines for school officials, parents, and students who need to respond to book challenges, a guide for defending LGBTQ stories, and in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), a handbook for educators and librarians navigating book challenges.

Access the resource center

Advocating for More Complex Racial and Ethnic Representation in School Curricula

Male child sitting Indian style in library aisle and reading a bookThe Search for More Complex Racial and Ethnic Representation in Grade School Books

The nation is experiencing a literacy crisis and historic drops in student achievement. Better racial and ethnic representation in our classroom books will help all students achieve. Our study outlines why we need to redress representational balance in school curricula.

Read the report

A graphic collage with children reading books and images of books on a shelfThe Tool for Representational Balance

Representation has long been imbalanced in school curriculum. We created the Tool for Representational Balance in Books to provide curriculum publishers, students, parents, teachers, advocates, and community members with a framework for closely reviewing the books that make up curricular units so they may better understand how people, groups, and topics are represented.

Access the tool

Training Webinar: Tool for Representational Balance in Books

video screenshotThis training gives an overview of findings and recommendations from EdTrust’s The Search for More Complex Racial and Ethnic Representation report and will dive deep into how to use our Tool for Representational Balance in Books by walking through examples and discussions together. We want to support advocates in using this tool to advocate at any level for the representation deeply needed in our students’ classrooms and libraries.

Watch the training webinar

A group of students work together to solve problems in their textbook during classAdvocates’ Guide to Demanding Racially and Culturally Inclusive State Assessments

It’s time to decenter Whiteness from standardized test design. Today, most statewide assessments avoid questions and passages that allude to cultural topics or themes on the grounds of fairness and colorblindness. This guide is designed to help advocates push their state leaders to insist on racially and culturally inclusive statewide assessments.

Read the guide

Students walking across a college campusA Map of Anti-DEI Efforts on College Campuses Across the U.S.

Threats to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are growing stronger in Higher Ed institutions across the nation, with plans by various states to introduce anti-DEI bills and continued attacks on academia. We created an interactive map to keep track of the evolving attacks on DEI across the states.

Access the map

Donate to the #CantBeErased Campaign