English PEN lends its weight to Democratic Life

Friday 23 December 2011

English PEN – the charity that promotes the freedom to write and the freedom to read has joined the Supporting Group of Democratic Life. Philip Cowell, English PEN’s participation manager, explained why they are supporting Citizenship:

English PEN are delighted to be part of the Supporting Group for Democratic Life and we will do all that we can through our own campaigns, projects and networks to promote this work.  English PEN comes to citizenship through literature and free speech. The freedom to write and read depends on much more than a purely legal framework. It requires a society that is able and willing to educate, to inspire and to support developing writers and readers, and a state that understands citizenship as something that embraces conflict and change as much as respect and stability.

Asher Jacobsberg, of involver, a founding member of Democratic Life, welcomed English PEN’s involvement:

Having the support of the writers and campaigners of English PEN demonstrates the broad need for strong, engaging, statutory Citizenship education in schools. This gives the lie to the false choice cited by politicians of either teaching citizenship or literacy: the two support and enhance one another as PEN’s members attest. We welcome them to the campaign.

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