Let's Talk

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, but the practice of free speech requires more than just the right to be free from censorship. To realize the First Amendment’s ideal of a robust culture of free speech, we must boldly engage even with words and ideas we find offensive, listen respectfully, and — if necessary — explain why we disagree. FIRE’s Let’s Talk groups provide the right conditions for these big conversations — empowering students to talk to anyone and everyone on their campus about any and every idea.

FIRE Let's Talk
Lets Talk YouTube title card

The ultimate guide to big conversations on campus

Let’s Start Talking!

Discussing difficult topics can be tough, but in a country that is increasingly polarized, relationships between people who hold different views is a superpower. And there's no better place to do this than on your own college campus.

Three Steps to Civil Discourse

Bobby Ramkissoon
We realized that there is a need on campus for a space outside the context of a classroom for ideas to be contested and for people to freely express those ideas without fear of social ostracization or outright censorship or repercussions from the administration.

Freely Express Yourself

Student Story

Bobby Ramkissoon is a Let’s Talk leader and co-founder of The John Stuart Mill Forum at The College of Wooster.


Let’s Talk Start-Up Guide

It is essential to create spaces on our college and university campuses for healthy and productive conversations. FIRE’s Let’s Talk program provides you with tools to work toward a more intellectually open campus environment.

Get Started with Lets Talk

Free speech dialogue illustration

Let's Talk Toolkits

Higher education — and your campus — needs healthy, rigorous, and productive conversations. Check out our resources below to learn about how to measure emotional temperature, how to intervene during a heated discussion, and how to keep your group’s conversations constructive.

Resources for Your Group

Campus Let’s Talk groups have no formal connection to FIRE and will vary in size and structure. But they are united in their mission to promote free, fruitful, and civil discussions. The art of civil conversation is an important tradition and resource of a free people: the fulcrum on which a democracy can stand — or topple to the loudest and most illiberal extremes. FIRE’s Let’s Talk: Civil Discourse Societies give students the resources they need to start, maintain, and grow the openhearted and open-minded culture our democracy needs now.