We are pleased to announce that that our very own executive director, Frank LoMonte, along with librarians Helen Adams and Nancy Kranich, was named a recipient of the 2016 Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) Roll of Honor Award.
FTRF is a non-profit legal organization, affiliated with the American Library Association, which fights to defend the First Amendment. The foundation was incorporated in 1969 and supports the right of libraries to collect information for public access.
The Roll of Honor was created to recognize individuals who have contributed to the FTRF through devotion to the foundation’s principles and/or extensive financial aid.
J. Douglas Archer, Honor Roll Committee Chair, said he was very pleased and honored to announce the three co-awardees.
“In his or her own distinctive way, each has been a life-long, stellar defender of free expression and the right to read, view, listen to or otherwise access whatever one chooses,” Archer said.
LoMonte has been the executive director of SPLC since 2008. SPLC provides free legal information and resources to student journalists and journalism teachers covering numerous topics in media law, censorship and free speech. The center has educated high school and college journalists about their First Amendment rights, and the importance of battling censorship, since 1974.
Since joining SPLC, LoMonte has created multiple campaigns to draw awareness to the organization’s core concerns of government transparency and campus free speech, such as the Sack Secrecy campaign about closed-door college searches, the Active Voice initiative highlighting the impact of school censorship on young women and the New Voices campaign to build grassroots support for laws protecting student press rights.
“The ALA’s vote of confidence in the work of the SPLC means so much at a critical time when our New Voices campaign is making such progress toward eradicating image-based censorship of journalism,” LoMonte said.
LoMonte says he is proud to be a part of a long list of people who fought for the same interests.
“I’m so amazed and fulfilled to be joining a list that includes Judy Platt, Chris Finan and so many other lifelong champions of free expression whose work I admire so much,” LoMonte said.
Before joining the center, LoMonte practiced law with Atlanta-based Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP and clerked for federal judges on the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the Northern District of Georgia. Before attending law school at the University of Georgia School of Law, where he has taught as an adjunct professor, he was an investigative journalist and political columnist for newspapers in Florida and Georgia.