Dear Friends,

The engines of our democracy have been on full display, both on Election Day and in the days following the shocking result. The country elected a president who has repeatedly shown contempt for the First Amendment, and individuals across the nation took to the streets in largely peaceful protest.   

As an organization that gives voice to people outside the margins of power, NCAC reaffirms our mission to defend the First Amendment’s bedrock principles: that freedom to think independently, to speak freely, and to dissent and protest are indispensable to democracy. We are resolute in our efforts to protect these rights, promote speech and dialogue around issues that divide us, and oppose censorship in schools, universities, libraries, museums, and public squares.  

NCAC seeks to create a dialogue of mutual respect, for different ideas, different politics, different modes of expression, and for the commitment to core freedoms.

NCAC will not be silent, whether we are fighting for a young person’s right to protest racial inequality, giving voice to readers who seek enlightenment through literature, protecting the right of creative dissent through art, combatting attempts to impose xenophobic fears on education, or reminding student journalists that the very discrimination they seek to defeat can take root when free speech is shut down.

It’s too early to know what the nation’s electoral shift will mean for the issues that NCAC confronts daily. We do know that freedom of speech is not owned by one political party or ideology. Claiming a monopoly on truth imperils free thought, and demanding a purity of ideas will only further divide our country.

Controversy can be the best conversation starter. Stopping censorship in every form is our first priority, but by taking proactive steps to keep sides talking on sensitive topics, NCAC seeks to create a dialogue of mutual respect, for different ideas, different politics, different modes of expression, and for the commitment to core freedoms.

We pledge to speak out more, on the issues that threaten students, artists, authors, educators, and librarians, as well as those that affect every informed citizen, like freedom of the press, government transparency, and our burgeoning surveillance state.  

We pledge to teach more, to further develop our collection of resources that help explain the nuances of censorship to a parent or school board member, or help turn a censored artist or student into a First Amendment advocate.

We pledge to listen more, to extend our outreach in states and local communities where individuals may assume an electoral mandate for viewpoint discrimination. NCAC can’t fight censorship if we’re not aware of it. Help us by letting your network of friends and family know we’re here, ready to receive any report of censorship.

Some have compared our country’s current unrest with that of the ‘60s, when a quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson could be heard: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Many of the rights we hold sacred have been achieved through protest. Civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, religious and secular rights – they undeniably make America great, thanks to the First Amendment. And thanks to free speech allies like you, the National Coalition Against Censorship remains steadfast and strong in the fight for First Amendment principles, whenever and wherever they are threatened.

Together, we will be vigilant in the protection of our nation’s civil liberties.





Joan E. Bertin, Esq.
Executive Director
National Coalition Against Censorship

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