What We Defend

Keshia Thomas

The Keshia Thomas story

In 1996, Keshia Thomas joined a counter-protest against the Ku Klux Klan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and witnessed firsthand the violent rage of a mob that had cornered a lone Klansman. Amid the chaos, Keshia chose to act with bravery and humanity, throwing herself on top of the man to shield him from the crowd's fury.  Through Keshia's powerful testimony, we're reminded that we cannot use violence to change hearts and minds. Only speech can do that.

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FIRE’s team of experienced advocates has decades of experience protecting free speech both on and off college campuses. Learn more about how FIRE’s experts can help you.

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Facing Retaliation for Protected Speech?

In the Courts

Facing censorship or retaliation for protected speech? FIRE’s lawyers are here to help Americans whose free speech rights are violated.

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University of Illinois college campus in Urbana Champaign Leigh Trail / Shutterstock.com

Need help? FIRE is ready.

Helping Your

FIRE’s signature defense program provides free, non-legal assistance to individuals whose fundamental civil liberties are violated, with a special focus on college students, professors, student media, and campus groups.

FIRE's Campus Advocacy

Spotlight on Speech Codes 2021

Challenging Censorship on Campus

Changing Higher Ed

FIRE’s College Policy Reform team works to proactively and systematically challenge campus policies that violate the rights of students and faculty on campus.


Chamber of the Idaho House of Representatives in 2018.

Working With Legislators

Changing Laws

FIRE advocates for individual rights at both the state and federal level by advocating on behalf of rights-protective legislation and against proposed laws that threaten student and faculty rights.

FIRE’s Legislative Priorities

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Free Speech Curriculum

Helping Teachers

FIRE’s free speech curriculum helps educators enrich and supplement their existing instruction on First Amendment and freedom of expression issues in middle and high school classrooms.

First Amendment Resources for Teachers

Home and Abroad

International Rights

FIRE monitors colleges and universities that maintain policies that sharply limit students’ speech rights abroad and raise questions about how academic institutions should handle conflicts between American expressive rights and repressive policies in other countries.

Learn More About Your Rights

University of Washington Professor Stuart Reges
University administrators turned me into a pariah on campus because I included a land acknowledgment that wasn’t sufficiently progressive for them.

Defending Your Rights in Court

Faculty Story

When Professor Stuart Reges challenged the University of Washington’s position on land acknowledgements, administrators punished him, undermining his academic freedom. He reached out to FIRE, and we took the university to court. “I am pleased that FIRE joined with me to fight back against University of Washington’s illegal viewpoint discrimination,” said Reges.

Read Stuart’s Story

How Does Your School Compare?

College Rankings

FIRE’s 2022 College Free Speech Rankings are based on the voices of more than 44,000 currently enrolled students at 208 colleges and are designed to help parents and prospective students choose the right school.

Find a School

Rank School Overall Speech Code
1 University of Chicago Private 77.92/100 Green
2 Kansas State University Public 76.2/100 Green
3 Purdue University Public 75.81/100 Green
4 Mississippi State University Public 74.72/100 Green
5 Oklahoma State University - Stillwater Public 74.35/100 Yellow
6 Claremont McKenna College Private 72.65/100 Green
7 University of North Carolina - Greensboro Public 68.72/100 Green
8 Northern Arizona University Public 68.5/100 Green
9 North Carolina State University - Raleigh Public 67.93/100 Green
10 Oregon State University Public 67.42/100 Green
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Support the Fight for Free Speech

Get Involved

Help us build a new free speech movement and promote a strong culture of free speech by supporting FIRE with a donation today. Please join us in this important work!

Donate to FIRE

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Get Involved

Free speech is under threat on college campuses. Here’s how you can make a difference.

Opportunities With FIRE


In 2022, FIRE’s College Policy Reform team won 46 victories at 23 schools affecting 400,000 students.


Since 1999, FIRE has won 529 defense victories at 315 colleges and universities.


In 2022, FIRE vetted nearly 1,400 case submissions involving individuals and groups who said their rights were threatened.


In 2022 alone, FIRE’s Campus Rights Advocacy team won 70 campus rights victories, impacting the rights of thousands of college students and faculty.

Fox/Dominion lawyers reflect on historic case

On April 18, Fox News to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to settle a defamation lawsuit stemming from allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The historic settlement came just before the trial was set to begin in a...