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Protecting Our Democracy announces the launch of POD Talks

A series of conversations about the most urgent challenges facing our democracy

By Protecting Our Democracy, February 09 2023 5:10 pm


Protecting Our Democracy (POD) is announcing the launch of POD Talks, a series of digital video, podcast and live conversations that bring together some of the smartest minds in New Jersey and beyond to talk about the biggest challenges facing our democracy, personal freedoms and more.

“Confronting the threat our democracy and institutions face will require us to continue to shine a light on extremism and efforts to divide us,” said Protecting Our Democracy Chair Sean M. Spiller. “The idea behind POD Talks is to tap into the deep pool of thinkers, activists and leaders in New Jersey and beyond to have conversations about what we can all do to strengthen democracy and protect personal freedoms,” he continued.

The first episode of POD Talks features a conversation on book bans with Executive Director of ACLU New Jersey Amol Sinha, Project Manager at Garden State Equality Damien Lopez and Elissa Malespina, librarian and school board member.

Protecting Our Democracy launched a campaign in late January aimed at combating book bans. The first episode of POD Talks is an extension of the campaign and takes a deeper dive into the history of book bans, the real life impact on students, librarians and educators and how we can organize to stop them.

“New Jersey is a bulwark against rising extremism, but only if we continue to organize and fight back,” said Spiller. “We have to look no further than Florida for an example of what happens when authoritarians work to divide us to hold power,” Spiller continued.  “Educators in Florida are now facing the threat of legal penalties or jail if they have books in their classrooms that Ron DeSantis decided he doesn’t like. That’s why we have to do the work everywhere, including in New Jersey, to bring together diverse perspectives not only to build greater understanding of our neighbors, but also strengthen our defense against those who wish to tear our democracy down.”

POD Talks episodes can be found on Protecting Our Democracy’s Facebook and YouTube pages and wherever you get your podcasts. The topics and guests of future POD Talks will be announced in the coming weeks.

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