Tooker, Oakman Plan ‘Artists Against Censorship’ Literary Event

By Purnell T. Cropper | July 29, 2011

Michelle Tooker ’07,’10M, a staff member in University Relations, and Tamara Oakman, a graduate student in the Master of Arts in English program, are planning “Artists Against Censorship,” a literary fundraising event aimed at raising awareness for Burma’s political prisoners. The event—which includes readings, an open mic and raffles—occurs on Thursday, August 25, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Moonstone Arts Center (110A S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, Pa.).

Working in conjunction with members of the national and Philadelphia Chapter of the U.S. Campaign for Burma, Tooker and Oakman are hoping to raise $3,938—$2 for each prisoner. Many of these prisoners are artists and writers incarcerated indefinitely for speaking out against the military dictatorship that currently rules the country. Oakman and Tooker are bringing members of Philadelphia’s literary community together to stand up and raise awareness of this injustice. Tooker visited Burma in 2005 while she was an undergraduate student at Arcadia studying abroad on Semester at Sea. She’s been committed to bringing democracy to the country ever since.

Several members of the Arcadia community are slated to perform, including David Dill, a graduate student in the Master’s of Education program; Ellie Hutchison 10,11M; Quincy Scott Jones, Adjunct Professor of English; Michelle Reale ’96,’99M, Faculty Librarian; and Eric Smith ’08M. The lineup also features some of Philadelphia’s top writers, including Paul Siegell, Bonnie MacAllister and Kelly McQuain.

Admission is $5 and light refreshments will be on sale. All proceeds benefit the U.S. Campaign for Burma. Learn more.