The third week of October every year is Free Speech Week. This year, that means Free Speech Week starts today!
Free Speech Week (FSW) organizers describe the event as an “annual, non-partisan national event celebrating the value of freedom of speech.” FIRE is proud to be an FSW partnering organization, and we have lots of resources and ideas to help you celebrate Free Speech Week on campus.
Students: You can start off by learning about the speech rights you and your classmates have with FIRE’s Guides to Student Rights on Campus. Then check to see whether your college or university is upholding its First Amendment obligations or following through on its promises to protect student speech by looking up your institution in our Spotlight database for campus speech codes. Chances are, it’s not! And if that’s the case, ask a university administrator to consider fixing your school’s speech codes to fully protect freedom of expression on campus.
Whether your college is a bastion of open debate or home to the latest Speech Code of the Month, consider inviting a FIRE staff member to your campus to help spread the word about why freedom of expression is so important. Or you can organize a demonstration on campus about an important topic, set up a “free speech wall,” or hand out literature on a topic you’re passionate about.
For even more ideas, check out FIRE’s student activist tips and join the FIRE Student Network. Parents, educators, and other free speech advocates can also click over to the Free Speech Week website for suggestions on how to celebrate.
Of course, FIRE will be celebrating in a big way on Thursday at our 15th anniversary gala in New York City! Attendees will get to hear from some fantastic speakers, including renowned First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams and Harvard University psychology professor and author Steven Pinker. You can still buy tickets, and we’d love to see you there.