A Statement from Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Chair and Tracy B. McGillivary, President

PEN/Faulkner extends its condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd and the countless black families who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police. We stand in solidarity with activists, racial justice advocates, and other members of the community who are outraged by these repeated instances of racism, violence, murder, and abuse of public trust. This is the civil rights movement of our time, and we stand firmly behind the principles of equality and empowerment. We share the righteous indignation of those who are protesting.

As an institution that promotes the literary arts, PEN/Faulkner has a role to play. We must empower artists to chronicle these turbulent times, and we must bring those narratives and conversations into our communities. That is the tradition of literature. PEN/Faulkner commits to bringing writers and readers together to address these important issues.

In the meantime, we have curated the following reading list. As an organization, we devote ourselves to reading and self-education to better understand the fears and frustrations of marginalized communities, and we encourage others to do the same:

We are living in the most turbulent moment of this newly-formed century, but our faith in the power of the written word to transform minds and hearts is unwavering. 

Please join us in donating to The Hurston/Wright Foundation and Cave Canem, organizations that make it their mission to amplify and celebrate black voices. Other organizations working to eradicate injustice and racism include Black Lives MatterBlack Visions Collective, and CTULAll of these organizations need your support right now.