Formerly named the “Thomas Paine Award,” the Freedom to Write Award was re-named in honor of Howard Zinn. PEN New England stated,
“In awarding Johnetta Elzie and DeRay McKesson the 2015 Zinn Award, we are recognizing their work in speaking truth to power and providing a necessary counterpoint to the mainstream narrative.
“Their reporting and This Is the Movement newsletter engaged and unified disparate voices in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Their activism focused an enraged community, and has been instrumental in transforming a cycle of tragedies into a movement, assuring that the world would not forget the names of Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and too many others.”
Continue reading at PEN New England.