While defense work is critical to our mission, FIRE also provides students and professors with the resources to act independently to protect their rights and advocate for freedom on their campuses. Educational resources such as FIRE webinars, our Spotlight database, and our annual Campus Freedom Network conference are vital tools for students on campus who want to learn more-and do more.
For example, last week you heard from FIRE staffer and former Indiana University–Bloomington student Nico Perrino about his experiences fighting for the First Amendment. Through projects like our Guides series and our summer internship, FIRE provides the educational resources that educate and engage thousands of students just like Nico. None of this would be possible without support from our donors.
The first-hand testimony of students speaks volumes about the impact your support can have on campus. Every donation to FIRE provides real resources for students and creates real incentives for reform.
Publications such as our indispensable Guides to Student Rights on Campus offer students a roadmap to the principles and promises of the First Amendment. Rather than being uninformed and ill-advised about their rights, students turn to resources such as our newly revised Guide to Free Speech on Campus, a resource students say presents "a tremendous amount of information" that is "extremely helpful" and "clear and accessible." Students also rely on on-campus presentations, webinars, internships, and events that provide lessons on individual rights and democratic values of free expression. Students have hailed FIRE's events as "enjoyable and intellectually stimulating," while FIRE interns have stated again and again that their experiences gave them the "lessons and skills necessary to advocate for free speech rights on college campuses."
And advocate they do. Students across the country have consulted our Guides, researched our Spotlight database, and built reform campaigns with our staff, resulting in numerous case victories and policy changes. For example, when student activist Kelly Jemison celebrated the addition of her school, James Madison University (JMU), to FIRE's "green light" list, she had this to say about FIRE's work:
I'm now even more thankful to FIRE not only for assisting me in the process of changing the speech codes, but more importantly for helping me understand that this was something I could make a prominent difference in the lives of real students by doing.
In a new FIRE video, Kelly went on to explain just how vital FIRE can be to reform efforts on campus. Through our efforts at JMU, FIRE multiplied the power of one individual into a lasting campus reform that will affect tens of thousands of students.
Nico, Kelly, our interns, and countless other students are living proof that the First Amendment has a powerful constituency on campus—one that needs the resources to fight back and achieve reform.
FIRE's outreach efforts are one of most important components of our mission, and their impact is clear. In the coming year, your donations will support Guides that educate, presentations that inform, resources that invigorate, and most importantly, students who use all of these resources to fight for their freedom.
By supporting FIRE's educational work this year, you can do more than defend students—you can empower them.
Please consider a tax-deductible donation to FIRE today!
Support FIRE in 2012! Make a tax-deductible donation today!