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.
Freedom of speech is essential for democracy, scientific progress, artistic expression, social justice, peace, and our ability to live as authentic individuals.
Academic freedom allows college faculty to research and teach without fearing institutional punishment for expressing unpopular views or findings.
The right to due process means authorities must provide fair, unbiased, and equitable procedures when determining a person’s guilt or innocence.
Freedom of the press protects the ability of journalists, including student journalists, and news media to publish information free from official censorship.
Religious liberty is the right to follow the faith of your choice — or to follow no faith at all.
Freedom of Conscience
Freedom of conscience means the right to arrive at one’s private beliefs without being coerced by those who wield power over us.
Freedom of Assembly
Freedom of assembly is the right of individuals to come together to express shared ideas, and it is one of the rights expressly guaranteed by the First Amendment.
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 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 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.
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.
University administrators turned me into a pariah on campus because I included a land acknowledgment that wasn’t sufficiently progressive for them.
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.
|University of Chicago Private
|Kansas State University Public
|Purdue University Public
|Mississippi State University Public
|Oklahoma State University - Stillwater Public
|Claremont McKenna College Private
|University of North Carolina - Greensboro Public
|Northern Arizona University Public
|North Carolina State University - Raleigh Public
|Oregon State University Public
The FIRE Student Network is a coalition of students who recognize the importance of advancing civil liberties on their campuses.
The FIRE Faculty Network is a coalition of faculty supporters interested in promoting and defending free expression and academic freedom at their institutions.
Join a community of invested alumni from various colleges who are learning and growing together while pursuing change at their alma mater.
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.
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