CBLDF Creator Chat with Mariko Tamaki and Gene Luen Yang

CBLDF is creating resources to fight identity censorshipCBLDF Creator Conversations: Mariko Tamaki & Gene Yang is a conversation about intellectual freedom, visibility, and creativity as CBLDF commemorates National Library Week! Watch the full video on the CBLDF YouTube channel and check out the additional resources available below.

Renowned for their dedication to encouraging empathy, understanding, and connection in their work, Yang and Tamaki bring a thoughtful and compassionate approach to issues of identity.  Sadly it’s those qualities that have brought challenges to both of their bodies of work. In this conversation, they’ll discuss how identity censorship affects authors, educators, and readers, along with strategies to counter those attacks. They’ll also dive into their creative processes, discuss the value of creativity in this current moment of crisis, and answer your questions in an interactive Q&A!

photography by Albert Law : www.porkbellystudio.comGene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. As a member of the CBLDF’s Board of Directors and the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he advocates for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second Books, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints won the L.A. Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award Finalist. His other works include Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man from DC Comics (with various artists), and the Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Dark Horse Comics (with Gurihiru). In 2016, he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. For more, visit www.geneyang.com. Pick up his latest book Dragon Hoops at the CBLDF Reward Zone!

marikoMariko Tamaki is the author of the YA novel Saving Montgomery Sole and the co-creator of award winning comics This One Summer and Skim (with Jillian Tamaki), and Emiko Superstar (Steve Rolston). In 2015, This One Summer received Printz and Caldecott Honors, the Eisner for Best Graphic Album–New, Canada’s Governor General’s award, and 4 starred reviews. Her 2019 Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me is the recipient of 5 starred reviews, including Kirkus and Horn Book, and was named a Printz Honor Book and as the “Best Children’s or Young Adult Book” at the Harvey Awards — as well as receiving the 2020 Walter Dean Myers Award. Mariko maintains a solid fascination with the complex process by which teenagers become, or try to become, grown ups.


CBLDF Identity Censorship Resources

You can join the fight against identity censorship by becoming a CBLDF member. In honor of ALA’s Library Week, for a limited time when you join CBLDF as a member you’ll receive a bonus set of CBLDF Don’t Ban Me pronoun pins. Let censors know that you can’t ban people for being who they are.


Join CBLDF and share our resources with your community to help fight identity censorship. Use the hashtag #DontBanMe and spread the word that every voice should be heard no matter how the speaker identifies. Voice your support by checking out the CBLDF Don’t Ban Me collection on Teespring. Grab a t-shirt or a sticker and show that you’re willing to take a stand against identity censorship.