Pulitzer Prize winners Anthony Lewis and Geraldine Brooks; actor, writer and director Harold Ramis; and radio personalities Paula Lyons and Tony Kahn, along with other prominent authors, attorneys, actors and activists, will gather at the Chilmark Community Center on Thursday, July 29, for An Evening Without: Giving Voice to the Excluded.

The ACLU-sponsored event celebrates the work of scholars, writers and poets who have been ideologically excluded from the United States because of their controversial ideas. These include Emma Goldman, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Nelson Mandela.

The practice of “ideological exclusion” — refusing visas to foreign scholars, writers, artists and activists on the basis of their political views and associations, not illegal actions — was once used to bar suspected communists from entering the country; it was resurrected by the Patriot Act.

The ACLU holds that ideological exclusion violates the First Amendment right of all Americans to hear constitutionally protected speech. The ACLU fights to end this practice, while also celebrating the freedom of speech that has been a cornerstone of ACLU work throughout the organization’s 90-year history.

“Ideological exclusion impoverishes academic and political debate, and sends a message that our country is more interested in silencing than engaging its critics,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “It also harms Americans by denying them access to speech that is protected by the First Amendment.”

“We are honored to be joined by this group . . . who will read the dramatic, emotional, sometimes hilarious and always poignant work of those whose voices need to be heard.”

Hosted by Ms. Rose and board vice president Arnie Reisman, the event will feature readers including Anthony Lewis, Alan Dershowitz, Kate Feiffer, Robert Brustein, Tony Kahn, Naomi Foner, Paula Lyons, Geraldine Brooks, Rose Styron, Jon Lipsky, Richard North Patterson, Alex MacDonald, Flash Wiley, Linda Fairstein and Jessica B. Harris

They will read from the works of Emma Goldman, Graham Greene, Cze-slaw Milosz, Nazim Hikmet, Gordon Kahn, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Doris Lessing, Pablo Neruda, Dario Fo, Mahmoud Darwish, Farley Mowat, Nelson Mandela, Adam Habib and Moazzam Begg.

One of those whose work will be read, Adam Habib, is a South African scholar who became a client of the ACLU of Massachusetts after his visa was revoked, without explanation, in 2006. Earlier this year, the Habib case was successfully resolved when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered an end to Professor Habib’s exclusion from the country. The policy of ideological exclusion remains in place, however, giving any administration the power to exclude people with controversial ideas from our country.

An Evening Without is free and open to the public. July 29 marks the first time the event will be held on Martha’s Vineyard, and will be the only time An Evening Without is presented in Massachusetts this year.