Anyone can participate in Free Speech Week! Whether it’s raising awareness about the history and importance of freedoms of speech and of the press, or engaging in everyday activities made possible because of these freedoms. Here are some ideas to get started:
Write a blog post. About free speech – or anything at all.
Display a bumper sticker.
Change your profile picture to our social media badge during FSW.
Learn more about freedom of speech. Go to ‘What is Free Speech?‘ as a place to begin.
Post a political sign in your front yard.
Write a letter to your senator or representative about an issue important to you.
Voice your opinion via social media, comment on an online article or write a review.
Write in a journal, compose a poem or song lyrics, or create a piece of art.
Express your opinion at an open town hall or education board meeting.
Submit a letter to the editor.
Tweet, post or pin quotes, articles or topical issues about the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
Kids creating via P.L.A.Y., a program of the Everett Spruill Foundation for the Arts
Geneva College newspaper
Students plant a liberty tree at Illinois College.
Visit a museum. Try www.museumusa.org to find one near you.
Talk to your children about the Constitution and the First Amendment.
Take your children to the library.
Encourage your children to write a story or poem, or create a work of art.
Ask your children their opinion on any topic.
Devote a classroom discussion to current free speech issues in the U.S. or internationally.
Implement a lesson plan on freedoms of speech and/or of the press. There are many online; we have compiled a few here.
Ask students to write a short essay on what free speech means to them or what types of speech they feel should be protected – or not.
Ask students to write a letter to the editor of their local paper.
Schedule a speaker for your classroom, school or journalism club through the MRLC Institute.
College faculty, check your school’s speech code rating at www.fire.org/spotlight.
Support your school’s newspaper or literary journal. If you don’t’ have one, encourage interested students to start one.
Conduct a mock debate on free speech issues or issue of your choice.
Create a banned book display or exhibit in the school library.
Encourage students to express their understanding of freedom of speech in artwork, poetry, song lyrics or photography.
Hold an open-mic night or poetry reading of original student work.
Encourage college students to enter the NABEF Freedom of Speech PSA contest.
Encourage your communications department, club or school to become an official FSW Partnering Organization. Learn more here:
For further inspiration, visit Activities in the Spotlight on our website.
“Freedom of Speech” mixed media series by Everett Spruill
Poster from free speech exhibit at North Central College
One of the winning entries of the NABEF Freedom of Speech PSA contest in 2011.
Public access station PACTV sought and received a proclamation for Free Speech Week in Massachusetts.
Organize a debate about an issue important to your community.
Schedule a community meeting with elected officials or school board representatives to discuss issues important to you and your community members.
Ask your town council to schedule an “open forum” where residents can express their opinions on issues of public importance.
Ask your local library and bookstores to recognize Free Speech Week with a banner and/or banned book displays.
Work with community service clubs (e.g. Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, etc.) to schedule a speaker for their meetings on free speech themes. The MLRC Institute is one way to try.
Organize a concert or art festival to celebrate free expression.
Work with local television, radio and newspapers to schedule tours of their facilities for school groups and journalism clubs.
NAA social media share FSW ’14.
Posted on the First Amendment Monument by the TJ Center for the Protection of Free Expression
PSA created by Olelo Community Media in Hawaii for FSW ’12.
RTDNA FSW ’14 selfie contest
Media Institute First Amendment Seminar featured two panels and guest speaker Sen. Patrick Leahy. Pictured: Bruce Brown, RCFP; Terry Adamson, National Geographic Society; Bruce Gottlieb, National Journal and Ashley Messenger, NPR.
Post the Free Speech Week logo on your website.
Tweet and/or post about Free Speech Week and/or free speech in general from your corporate account.
Let association members know about FSW through your newsletter or website.
Change your company profile picture on social media sites to the Free Speech Love badge during Free Speech Week.
Broadcast stations, create and run a PSA recognizing Free Speech Week, or run the winning student TV or radio spot of the NABEF Freedom of Speech PSA contest.
Schedule and host a speaker for the public or for staff through the MLRC Institute. Learn more here.
Sponsor a free speech-related contest.
Plan an event during FSW that draws attention to free speech issues in your industry. See Activities in the Spotlight on our website for more.
Communicate with your audience via company blogs, websites, social media, articles online and off, and broadcast mediums why freedoms of speech and of the press, and freedom of expression in general is important to your organization.
Become an official Partnering Organization. Learn more here.
FSW ’15 print ads
MPAA and Freedom House co-sponsored a talk on “Creative Freedom and the First Amendment” for FSW ’14. Pictured Neil Fried, MPAA; Anne Hornaday, Washington Post film critic; and culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg