How to Fight Censorship: An Activist’s Toolkit

Sick of book bans? We've put together these resources to help you fight censorship attempts in your community!

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Person standing in front of "Ban Bigots Not Books" sign speaking into a microphone. Text reads "introduction"

We’re building the future we want


Attacks on the freedom to learn are on the rise.

It’s in the news almost every day: book bans, Don’t Say Gay bills, and other efforts to whitewash our history and erase marginalized communities from the public square.

Groups like Moms for Liberty are using divisive rhetoric and electoral politics to drive a wedge between our communities and keep us from teaching the next generation our nation’s full history.

But we know the power one person can have: In 2023, the Washington Post reported that the majority of over 1,000 book bans or challenges they analyzed were filed by just 11 people!

Imagine what we can do if we fight for the freedom to learn together. Our team at People For the American Way has put together the tools to help us do just that.

About People For the American Way


For 40 years, People For the American Way has been tracking a dramatic rise in attacks from the Far Right on the freedom to learn, on our democracy, and on our communities – and organizing people to fight back.

We know community problems require community action.

The Far Right’s aggressive campaigns, large followings and strong-arm tactics are designed to divide us. If we want to fight back, we have to be organized and decisive in our responses.

That’s why we launched Grandparents For Truth.

Grandparents For Truth is designed to mobilize grandparents and their allies to fight back against authoritarianism, bigotry, and censorship. Grandparents For Truth clubs receive training, resources, one-on-one guidance, and swag that helps groups fight in their communities for the next generation’s freedom to learn.



Person speaking into a microphone in front of a sign that says "democracy not theocracy." A blue bar at the bottom with white text reads "communications 101"

How to Talk About Censorship

Talking about censorship and book bans can be tricky! Here are some general points to keep in mind and help you guide the conversation.


How to Organize Against Censorship


“When the shouts of the censors are met by silence, when teachers, schools, and kids are left alone in defending materials against attack, attempts to ban books and programs often succeed. But when [community members] get involved, form alliances with the schools and organize broad community support, such challenges are more likely to be defeated.”

An Activist’s Guide to Protecting the Freedom to Learn (1995), People For the American Way

Click on the sections below for more information on each step of organizing against censorship! 


School Censorship: Questions and Answers



Taking Back Our School Boards


Getting Out the Vote