(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) A leading defender of free speech on college campuses is rebranding after having invested millions of dollars to expand its free-speech mission beyond higher-learning institutions.
The foundation said it decided to expand its mission beyond higher learning institutions by investing $75 million into three areas of programming litigation, public education and research, said the statement.
Amid growing threats of leftist censorship throughout the nation—including recent attempts to install an Orwellian ‘Disinformation Governance Board‘ in the Department of Homeland Security—Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s president and CEO, said there was a growing demand for its brand of advocacy in support of basic civil liberties.
“America needs a new nonpartisan defender of free speech that will advocate unapologetically for this fundamental human right in both the court of law and the court of public opinion,” he said.
“FIRE has a proven track record of defeating censorship on campus,” he added. “We are excited to now bring that same tireless advocacy to fighting censorship off campus.”
The organization also launched a $10 million nationwide “Faces of Free Speech” advertising campaign to “promote the freedom of speech.
Billboards will be present in many major cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Throughout its 23 years of existence, FIRE has accomplished a lot of things, according to the press release.
Among them, it has:
- won more than 500 direct advocacy victories on behalf of college students and faculty members (with thousands more resolved behind-the-scenes)
- secured 425 campus policy changes affecting 5 million students
- helped pass rights-protective legislation in 20 states
- drove a nationwide reduction in the prevalence of the most restrictive kinds of campus speech codes, from 75% in 2007 to 18% today
Lukianoff said in the face of such growing adversity, it may be necessary to remind citizens both young and old about the important role free expression has to maintaining a free and just society.
“We need to remind older Americans that freedom of speech is still a value worth fighting for,” he said, “and we need to teach younger Americans that everything from scientific progress, to artistic expression, to social justice, peace, and living authentic lives requires the staunch protection of freedom of speech for all.”