FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff accepted the $25,000 prize on FIRE’s behalf yesterday at a ceremony in Philadelphia.
FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff (center), with former United States Senator Jim DeMint (left) and The Heritage Foundation’s David Azzerad (right), after accepting the 2016 Salvatori Prize on behalf of FIRE.
“Last year, free speech was threatened as never before on campuses across America,” said David Azerrad, director of Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, who presented the award. “Yet, at every turn, FIRE was there, pushing back, defending free speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty and sanctity of conscience—the rights essential to individual liberty.”
“I am in awe of the amount of work that FIRE’s staff does and at their effectiveness,” said award co-presenter and former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III. “As an organization, it consistently punches above its weight, and it is making a real difference in the fight for freedom on our college campuses.”
In his acceptance speech, Greg acknowledged the formidable challenges facing campus speech, while striking a hopeful tone.
“If we want freedom of speech and due process to endure, we have to fight on every possible field: in the media, in the courts, on Capitol Hill, in state governments, and in K–12,” Greg said. “The challenge is daunting, but if we go beyond preaching to the choir and find new ways of making converts to the cause of free speech and due process, we can win.”
FIRE expresses its deep gratitude to The Heritage Foundation for this honor.