Celebrate 2010 National Freedom of Speech Week, October 18-24

By October 18, 2010

The Media Institute’s National Freedom of Speech Week is dedicated to commemorating the rights that "define our American way of life," and it starts today. While our nation’s college campuses are fraught with free speech violations, we hope students and their schools across the country will take some time to recognize and celebrate the First Amendment this week.

The National Freedom of Speech Week website boasts:

At a time when scores of worthwhile causes are remembered with special weeks or even months, the annual celebration of free speechthe cornerstone of our democracyis vital and long overdue. By celebrating freedom of speech for a full week every year, National Freedom of Speech Week will help ensure that free speech remains "The Language of America."

When students’ fundamental rights are threatened on college campuses, however, those colleges are crippling students’ ability to take advantage of the marketplace of ideas that most campuses claim to be.

Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is celebrating National Freedom of Speech Week tonight with a "Must See Mondays Speaker Series" titled "Freedom of Speech: Global Perspectives" at its First Amendment Forum. At Illinois College, students and faculty have been collaborating on a First Amendment celebration. Other schools should follow these good examples.

The organization’s website lists other ideas for celebrating throughout the week, and some of our suggestions for celebrating Constitution Day are a perfect fit as well.

The First Amendment protects speech that some may find offensive or disagreeable. Speech expressing a minority view is most in need of protection, and such speech should be especially welcomed on college campuses. Get in the habit of exercising your rights on campus by using this week to make your voice heard.