Texas Freedom to Read Project

Fighting Book Bans & Defending the Right to Read. Parent founded. Parent led.


Monday, December 4, 2023

(TEXAS, USA)- A group of passionate parents deep in the fight for the freedom to read in Texas are thrilled to announce the launch of Texas Freedom to Read Project. The mission of Texas Freedom to Read Project is to empower, mobilize, and connect parents, students, educators, and community members across Texas to take up the fight against book banning and censorship in their public schools and communities. Founded by Texas parents, Anne Russey, Laney Hawes, and Frank Strong, Texas Freedom to Read Project aims to push back against the recent rise of book challenges and bans in Texas.

In coordination with many existing Texas advocates and with the support and encouragement of PEN America, Every Library, and Florida Freedom to Read Project, Texas Freedom to Read Project seeks to connect like-minded advocates, provide resources and support for local efforts, and strengthen intellectual freedom and the right to read in Texas. Anne Russey shares: "Every student should be able to read books where they see themselves reflected and have access to stories and perspectives that are very different from their own. Restricting and banning books deprives students of their fundamental First Amendment right to receive information and ideas.”

According to PEN America, a national organization that tracks book bans and censorship, Texas ranks 2nd, only to Florida, in the number of books banned. Texas banned 625 unique titles in the 2022-2023 school year. Texas Freedom to Read Project believes students deserve access to a wide range of age appropriate and thought-provoking books in their libraries.

Texas Freedom to Read Project will investigate and track book bans and censorship across the state, provide advocacy training, and offer resources to communities facing these issues. “We will work to build coalitions between local groups fighting censorship in their own school districts, facilitate connections with national organizations, and push for policy changes to protect the right to read in Texas schools and communities,” said Frank Strong.

“We’re excited to empower local communities with the skills, knowledge, and support they need to more effectively push back against censorship,” said Laney Hawes, “Together, we will turn the tide against book banning and ensure all Texans have access to diverse and inclusive ideas and stories.”

To learn more, get involved, and support our work visit www.txftrp.org. Follow and connect with us on X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook. Our handle across all platforms: @txfreedomread

About Texas Freedom to Read Project

Texas Freedom to Read Project strives to defend, protect and preserve the rights of every Texan, especially public school students, to freely read and access information and ideas. Our mission is to support, connect and mobilize parent & community member led initiatives fighting for student rights and against censorship and book bans in Texas. 

Contact: [email protected]

press release announcement news book bans texas