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Eleanor Roosevelt Center and Fisher Center at Bard present

The Eleanor Roosevelt Banned Book Awards

Join Us For an Evening Celebrating This Year's Winners

February 17

Add to Calendar2024-02-17 7:30 pm2024-02-17 7:30 pmESTThe Eleanor Roosevelt Banned Book AwardsFisher Center, Sosnoff Theater,
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The Eleanor Roosevelt Center and the Fisher Center at Bard College announce the first Eleanor Roosevelt Banned Book Awards Ceremony.

The ceremony will celebrate the inaugural winners of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Bravery in Literature, authors who have championed intellectual freedom and the fight against censorship.

The Bravery in Literature awards are given to authors whose works focus on racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and gender equity.

Winners & Speakers

Judy Blume

Lifetime Achievement Award

Laurie Halse Anderson

Mike Curato

Alex Gino

George M. Johnson

Maia Kobabe

Jelani Memory

Emily Drabinski

Keynote Speaker

Matt Nosanchuk

Keynote Speaker

The Ceremony

The legendary Judy Blume will receive a lifetime achievement award and will join the celebration by livestream.

Speakers for the evening include Emily Drabinski, President of the American Library Association, and Matt Nosanchuk, the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, who is often referred to as the Biden Administration’s “Banned Book Czar.”

The award seal is designed by artist, author, and creative director George McCalman.

Copies of all featured titles will be available for purchase in the lobby courtesy of Oblong Books.


For over three decades, the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Medal has honored individuals who embraced Eleanor Roosevelt’s call to build a better world through humanitarian efforts in education, advocacy, social justice, and civil and human rights. Eleanor was a fierce and effective advocate for civil and human rights and the chief architect of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Her work lives on today, inspiring a new generation to use their voice to protect and advance the rights of those who have been marginalized and oppressed. 

In 2024, the Eleanor Roosevelt Center launches the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Bravery in Literature in direct response to the alarming rise of book banning in the U.S. and as an extension of its historic medals honoring leaders who advance human rights. Eleanor was a prolific author in her own right, authoring 27 books in her lifetime. The award reflects Eleanor’s love for literature and hopes to elevate works by authors who embody her values. 

The Fisher Center at Bard has a long-standing track record in developing and supporting performance and cultural events at the intersection of the arts and social justice, producing innovative programming in the Hudson Valley, and supporting artists at critical career junctures. The Fisher Center is an anchor institution in the cultural community of New York’s Hudson Valley and is thrilled to partner with the Eleanor Roosevelt Center to present the first annual award for Bravery In Literature. 



Special support for this event has been provided by Barbara & Sven Huseby and the Ettinger Foundation, Penguin Random House, Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and The Freedom to Read Foundation.



About the Eleanor Roosevelt Center

The Eleanor Roosevelt Center continues Eleanor’s work in advancing human rights and civil rights in the face of modern challenges. The non-profit organization, based at Eleanor’s former residence in Hyde Park, NY, is dedicated to breathing new life into the precedents set and the legacies left behind by the First Lady of the World. We strive to be Eleanor Roosevelt’s heart, mind, and voice in realizing a better world—a world of acceptance, opportunity, dignity, and respect for all.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s passion for civil rights and human rights changed the world and inspired generations. To learn more, to donate, or to get involved, visit us at

Photo of Eleanor Roosevelt: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh

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