PRH Supports Student-Led Pride Event at New College of Florida


In May, Penguin Random House donated over 150 LGBTQ+ books across eleven divisions for a student-led Pride event at the New College of Florida. If the name of the school sounds familiar, it may be because New College has been in the news recently. It’s currently a site where partisan politics and educational freedom are clashing in a way that’s not unrelated to the wave of book banning we’ve been seeing throughout the nation. On its campus, Florida’s Governor DeSantis recently signed S.B. 266 into law while student activists protested outside. As a result of the recent appointments by Gov. DeSantis to the New College Board of Trustees in support of his views, students have been restricted in the kinds of activities they can do with school funds—including DEI and LGBTQ events like Pride.

Katelyn Mackenzie, Manager, Production at Zeitgeist and whose alma mater is New College said “I know New College more as an intellectual haven where non-conforming young adults can explore ideas and the world with freedom and rigor, design Independent Study Projects about academic subjects of interest to them, and write and defend an undergraduate thesis in front of peers and a baccalaureate committee. It’s a special place to me with a culture of critical inquiry, open-mindedness, and unabashed LGBTQ celebration. Confronted by recent challenges to New College’s longstanding culture of openness, students nevertheless organized a campus Pride event on Friday, May 12, 2023. I was delighted to learn that the event was a success, and that the books that Penguin Random House donated played a key role in that. Thank you to the divisions who donated books, to my colleagues who gave book recommendations, and to Penguin Random House for committing to publish stories from LGBTQ voices!”

Posted: July 21, 2023