May 3 Freedom to Learn Day of Action

Dear H-PAD members,


First I should introduce myself—I’m Simon Judkins, a historian out at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where I’m finishing up my doctoral work on surveillance, disinformation, and political activism in the early 20th century. I was recently hired by the H-PAD steering committee to help with organizing, and am delighted to be working with a group of people committed to turn our training and experience into action.


I’m writing today to call on H-PAD members to take action of their own in the coming week. We realize that many scholars and teachers are busy with final classes and exams, but as you all know this is important work so if there is any flex in your schedules we urge you to act. Some of you may have heard of this event already, but if not, the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) is organizing a national day of action for May 3, the Freedom to Learn National Day of Action.


They’re calling on people like us to stand up for the freedom to learn, to discuss difficult ideas and share challenging stories, and to have the support to do so in venues that support intellectual freedom. They don’t expect you to do it alone, there is a training workshop being held tomorrow at 7:30pm ET; 4:30pm PST, so if you have any interest we urge you to attend. You might also think about reaching out to any AAPF or BLM-affiliated organizations or scholars on your campus to see if they have anything planned, and for ideas on actions you could join or lead on May 3, see their website:


Wishing you all a thoughtful week,


Simon Judkins