FIRE’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

Join us in New York City on Thursday, October 24, 2019 to celebrate 20 years of FIRE.

Save the Date

Folks, the time has come to come together in New York City to celebrate a big milestone: FIRE’s 20th birthday.

Twenty years ago, Harvey Silverglate and Alan Charles Kors opened up the doors to a small nonprofit in Philadelphia to answer calls for help from students and professors facing violations of their individual rights. Now, 20 years later, FIRE is the leading authority on campus civil liberties, having helped millions of students defend and enjoy their rights. With each day, FIRE’s voice grows and its reputation becomes stronger. This is a testament to all the people who have supported our work throughout the years. And it is those people who we want to celebrate with us in October.

Please join us on October 24, 2019 for a fun, thought-provoking, and celebratory evening with your favorite free speech friends. Don’t forget, this is not an annual event, so don’t miss out! Formal invitations and registration to come soon.


When: Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 6:30 pm ET
Where: Mandarin Oriental, Columbus Circle, New York City
Dress: Black Tie Optional
Registration will open soon.

Speakers and Program

Salman Rushdie Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan www.beowulfsheehan.comSalman Rushdie Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan
Salman Rushdie

Sir Salman Rushdie—of any time. A brilliant provocateur, he’s penned a handful of classic novels, influenced a generation of writers, and received a Queen’s Knighthood for his “services to literature.” He stands as both a pop culture icon and one of the most thought-provoking proponents for free speech today.

Sir Salman Rushdie’s novels, greeted always with anticipation and acclaim, include The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, The Ground Beneath Her Feet and 2008’s The Enchantress of Florence. For his masterwork of magic realism, Midnight’s Children, he won the prestigious Booker Prize, and later, the Best of the Booker. The novel has since been adapted to film by the Academy Award-nominated director, Deepa Mehta, and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. He is also the author of bestselling memoir Joseph Anton. Sir Salman Rushdie’s Luka and the Fire of Life is a children’s novel and a companion to Haroun and the Sea of Stories. His latest novels are Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, which was a New York Times besteller, and most recently The Golden House, a novel that “depicts Obama and Trump’s US” (The Guardian).

An eclectic writer and noted public intellectual, Rushdie has won many of the world’s top literary prizes, published a heralded collection of essays, Step Across the Line, written a book on The Wizard of Oz, and served for two years as president of The PEN American Center, the world’s oldest human rights organization.

Karith FosterKarith Foster
Karith Foster

Best known for her stand up comedy, TEDx talk, and television and radio appearances, Karith Foster is a Diversity Engagement Specialist with the Foster Russell Family Foundation. “If you can laugh at it you can get through it” is both Karith’s motto and the lesson she seeks to instill in others. Her signature programs Stereotyped 101,™ You Are E.N.O.U.G.H,™ The Humor Initiative,™ and Can We Speak Freely?™ are impacting lives at academic institutions, organizations and corporations across America. Karith founded the Foster Russell Family Foundation to inspire free speech, social change and empowerment, and to make a difference through education and mentorship at a time when humor, understanding, and respect are in short supply.

Karith is an alumna of Stephens College (Missouri) and Oxford University.


Mandarin Oriental, Columbus Circle, New York City
(212) 805 8800

Hotel Information

Coming Soon.

Sponsorships and Tickets

Tickets will soon be available for purchase. If you would like to sponsor the event, please contact for information.