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The Free Speech Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy center dedicated to building understanding of the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and engagement. It does not participate in litigation or lobbying.
Its educational efforts include:
- The First Amendment Encyclopedia, an unparalleled collection of more than 1,500 articles on First Amendment topics, court cases and history, written to be accessible by young people and the general public. About 20,000 students and educators access the site each school day. (See more about the Encyclopedia.)
- 1 for All, a national nonpartisan and nonprofit educational effort to build understanding and respect for the five freedoms of the First Amendment in secondary and higher education.
- Nationwide ad campaigns to raise awareness of the First Amendment among a younger generation.
- Frequent news, analysis and commentary on current First Amendment issues at freespeech.center.
- See the Free Speech Center YouTube channel.
- See the Free Speech Center newsletter.
- See the 2022 Free Speech Center Annual Report, and the 2020 Free Speech Center Annual Report.
- The First Amendment Press, publications designed to inform and engage on First Amendment freedoms.
A good high school or university strives to educate students for the future, preparing for life as professionals, but also as citizens. It’s the latter that proves to be the true challenge. Too many students move into adulthood with only a limited sense of how our country works and a lack of appreciation for the rich experience that living in a democracy provides. That’s troubling because the next generation is in the best position to help us break the vicious pattern of partisanship and rancor that now plagues our nation.
The Free Speech Center is a nonpartisan public policy center at Middle Tennessee State University that works to build understanding of the First Amendment and Bill of Rights through education, information, and engagement.
- The need for citizens to stay truly informed by selecting reliable and trustworthy news sources.
- The importance of engaging in society, encouraging constructive change through the exercise of core freedoms.
- Recognizing that free speech is a universal value in our society, and that it is most beneficial when coupled with a willingness to listen in a civil and respectful exchange of ideas.
To that end, the Free Speech Center:
- Provides daily news and insights into free expression and offers a comprehensive repository of First Amendment history and law in its First Amendment Encyclopedia, serving almost 4 million site visitors per year.
- Publishes books, teacher’s guides, white papers, television shows and video content that illuminate our fundamental freedoms of expression for students, educators, and the public.
- Serves as an authoritative resource on First Amendment freedoms for news organizations around the world.
- Manages extensive media outreach on multiple platforms, all with an eye toward conveying core Constitutional principles in an informal, accessible, and intriguing way.
Drop us a message at FreeSpeechCenter@mtsu.edu.
Recent news releases
- New video guide helps you know your First Amendment rights in recording police, 5/17/23
- MTSU, NYU team up for helpful First Amendment videos, 9/22/22
In the media
FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS: Press hotline 615-898-5829
- The Free Speech Center’s YouTube channel
- Recent USA Today op-eds by Ken Paulson. Paulson serves on the USA Today Editorial Board.
- The Fox News texts about Jan. 6 are a low moment for journalism. (December 2021)
- The First Amendment has no single constituency, and that's a problem. (October 2020)
- Confederate statues are 'billboards for racism.' Let's take them down the right way (June 2020)
- Country music sexism: Women fight for equality on the airwaves, and country radio shrugs (February 2020)
- The Newseum’s impact as it closes its doors (December 2019)
- Inside Politics: Ken Paulson (January 2020)
- Andrew Oppmann's “Stay on Course": Interview with Ken Paulson (July 2020)
- Tennessee Voices: A conversation with Ken Paulson (September 2020)
- WGNS Radio: MTSU Free Speech Center welcomes $25K gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to boost 1st Amendment awareness (October 2020)
- Rutherford Source: Craigslist Founder Donates $25k to MTSU Free Speech Center (October 2020)
- MTSU News: MTSU's Free Speech Center Welcomes $25k gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to boost 1st Amendment awareness (October 2020)
NEWS ON THE 1 FOR ALL CAMPAIGN
Associated Press: New advertising campaign promotes the First Amendment
Nashville Tennessean: Brad Paisley, Kane Brown, other Nashville stars launch national push for First Amendment
Music Row: Brad Paisley, Loretta Lynn, Kane Brown Partner to Raise Awareness of First Amendment Rights
News release: Nashville artists, authors, athletes speak up for First Amendment with MTSU Free Speech Center’s 1 for All awareness effort
FROM THE ARCHIVES
- Launch of the Free Speech Center
- Ken Paulson: “The land of the free has become the home of the easily offended”
- Ken Paulson testifies before Congress about free speech on campus (September 2018)
Ken Paulson’s media appearances include The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CBS News, Good Morning America, ESPN and hundreds of additional news outlets. See more media appearances by Ken Paulson.