In the Hot Seat: How the First Amendment is Shaping Today’s Conversations
Allison Lee, Kent Raygor, and Stacy Lieberman
The last two years have shown an undeniable and unprecedented attack on free expression in public education and libraries. From July 2021 to June 2023, PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans recorded 5,894 instances of book bans across 41 states. At the same time, we have witnessed an alarming increase in antisemitism and hate speech on college campuses, and growing calls to redefine what is constitutionally protected speech. Join us for an all-star panel-conversation about what it means to advocate for free speech in this moment, and learn what you can do to combat educational censorship, book bans, and hate speech.
Allison Lee serves as the Managing Director of PEN America Los Angeles, and organization dedicated to celebrating and uniting writers and reads, and defending the freedoms that make it possible. She has over thirty-years of experience in nonprofit development, community engagement, and communications. Better known to most of Leo Baeck as master rugelach-baker, congregational trip coordinator, and rabbi wrangler, Allison received her B.A. in Political Science and American Studies from Tufts University.
Kent Raygor is a partner with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP in Los Angeles. He is a business litigator, specializing in constitutional, media, entertainment, and intellectual property law disputes. The most significant part of his constitutional litigation experience has involved First Amendment claims under the U.S. Constitution (the right to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and of the press, the right to assemble, and the right to petition the Government), and related claims under the California and other States’ constitutions.
Stacy Lieberman is President and CEO of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles where she guides the Foundation’s philanthropic priorities to enhance the Los Angeles Public Library’s critical mission to enrich, educate, and empower every Angeleno. Building on an early career in book publishing, Stacy has held senior leadership positions at iconic L.A. institutions, including The Broad, the Autry Museum of the American West, and the Skirball Cultural Center. She received her B.A. in English and French from Tufts University—where she was one-time roommates with Allison Lee!—and her M.A. in English from Wayne State University. She is member of IKAR.