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This First Amendment moment

Tens of thousands of Americans in all 50 states are raising anguished voices and marching in the streets to protest 400 years of systemic injustice against black Americans.

The nationwide reckoning on race is painful and long overdue. But we could not have arrived at this moment in American history without the freedoms of the First Amendment.

The brutal deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many other black Americans have spurred people across the country to make their voices heard by assembling and petitioning for change.

While scenes of peaceful protest are a testament to the power of the First Amendment, pockets of violence and intimidation and the unlawful arrests of peaceful protesters and working news crews remind us that there is much work to be done in our role to foster First Amendment freedoms for all.

We find reprehensible any attacks on journalists, demonstrators, law enforcement officials and others. We encourage all who wish to add their voices “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” protected by the First Amendment, with journalists present in their constitutional role as observers and reporters on behalf of us all.

In these challenging times, the Freedom Forum provides vital educational resources and important context grounded by fundamental First Amendment principles.

Our slate of online summer educational classes covers timely issues around media literacy and free speech rights. Our experts offer insightful First Amendment commentary on topical issues, such as “Floyd Protests Powered by Freedoms of Assembly, Petition.” And our Power Shift Project is an industry-leading initiative championing integrity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

If you are moved by recent events to exercise your First Amendment rights and don’t know where to start, we have resources that can help. Follow, subscribe or help support our work.

With best regards,

Jan Neuharth

Jan Neuharth
Chair and chief executive officer, Freedom Forum

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