The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities. The freedom of speech, enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, is a foundational American right. Nowhere is that right more important than on our college campuses, where the free flow of ideas and the clash of opposing views advance knowledge and promote human progress. It is on our college campuses, however, where some of the most serious violations of free speech occur, and where students are regularly censored simply because their expression might offend others.
In a persuasive letter or essay, convince your peers that free speech is a better idea than censorship.
Your letter or essay must be between 700-900 words. We encourage you to draw from current events, historical examples, our free speech comic, other resources on FIRE’s website, and/or your own personal experiences.
Eligibility: Open to juniors and seniors in U.S. high schools, including home-schooled students, as well as U.S. citizens attending high school overseas. Additional questions regarding eligibility may be emailed to [email protected].
One $10,000 first prize, one $5,000 second prize, three $1,000 third place prizes and four $500 prizes will be awarded.
- Must currently be in high school
- Type of institution award is open to: two-year college
- Type of institution award is open to: four-year college
- Type of institution award is open to: trade/technical school
- Award is available to U.S. citizens
- Application form required
- Essay required
- Entry in a contest required
How To ApplyOnline
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Donor: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s mission is to defend and sustain the individual rights of students and faculty members at Americaâ€™s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process, legal equality, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience â€” the essential qualities of liberty.Website