For immediate release | May 31, 2024

Acclaimed poet, essayist, and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib to headline second annual Rally for the Right to Read

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) and Unite Against Book Bans will host a second annual Rally for the Right to Read: Voters Unite Against Book Bans at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Friday, June 28, 2024.

Part of the 2024 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition, June 27 – July 2, the program will gather librarians and Unite Against Book Bans partners from across sectors and across the country, from publishers to authors, from educators to parents, from library workers to library patrons. Organizations across multiple fields and sectors are joining to stand up for the right to read. The rally will highlight anti-censorship activities from around the nation and celebrate the 2024 recipients of ALA’s signature intellectual freedom awards.

Nationally renowned writer, cultural critic and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Hanif Abdurraqib will deliver the keynote address.

The event will honor the courage and resilience of America's librarians and their commitment to protect the freedom to read during a period of unprecedented attacks. The Rally for the Right to Read will recognize the 2024 recipients of the Freedom to Read Foundation's Roll of Honor Award, the Eli M. Oboler Award, the John Phillip Immroth Award and the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award.

“Library workers nationwide continue to provide access for their communities in the face of book bans and censorship,” said ALA President Emily Drabinski. “The Annual Rally for the Right to Read brings together library workers and advocates to reflect, recharge and refocus our energy on protecting the freedom to read. ALA and our anti-censorship partners across industries are incredibly appreciative of the talented Hanif Abdurraqib for joining us and using his voice to Unite Against Book Bans!”

Hanif Abdurraqib is an award-winning poet, essayist and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio, and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Genius grant. His most recent book, There’s Always This Year, was an instant New York Times, USA Today and Indie Next bestseller. A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance was a National Book Award Finalist and the winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. His other acclaimed works include They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us and Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest.

The Rally for the Right to Read begins with a reception at 7:00 p.m. and the program at 8:00 p.m. All ALA Annual Conference attendees are invited to attend; conference badges are required. Admission is free, and donations to the Unite Against Book Bans campaign are encouraged.

Bringing together thousands of librarians and library staff, authors, publishers, educators and exhibitors, the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition is the largest library event in the world.


Ian Ware

Communications Manager

American Library Association

Public Policy & Advocacy