Welcome to Student Advocates For Speech


To empower the next generation of leaders to advocate for freedom of expression as both a fundamental human right and a keystone of democracy, to fight for their own free speech rights, as well as the rights of those they disagree with, and to promote the essential principles of free expression. 

NCAC will help students advocate for their own speech and the speech of their fellow students, including the right to read, school censorship and amplifying the voices of young people in democratic civic life.

Join the Student Advocates for Speech
A national network of high school free speech clubs


NCAC will select student leaders to launch Student Advocates for Speech clubs in their high schools. Club leaders will attend a one-day, hands-on virtual advocacy training program in Summer 2022 and receive ongoing NCAC guidance and support to set up their clubs for the 2022-2023 school year.

In 2022, ten student leaders will be selected to launch clubs in ten high schools. Clubs will range in size at each school, engaging both official club members and the full student population. The cohort of student leaders will grow in each year of the program to create clubs at additional schools, building a nationwide network of thousands of student advocates for speech.

School clubs will serve as free speech defenders to spread greater awareness of the threats to high school student speech while mobilizing their student communities to get involved.

NCAC will provide advocacy training, guidance on activism to defend banned books and opportunities for leadership on issues like student free press freedom. Students will also receive assistance in amplifying their voices with publishing opportunities.

What skills and benefits will students receive?

  • Direct experience in issue advocacy work
  • Learn about how free speech protections protect all our freedoms
  • Create opportunities for civic dialogue in your community
  • Gain speaking opportunities
  • Receive training/mentorship for advocacy-based writing and publishing
  • Leadership experience in managing controversial issues with discussion, civility and inclusivity

Who should apply?

High school students, 14-18 years old, who have a

  • General commitment to free speech principles
  • Willingness to work to recruit a diverse group of students from different backgrounds and political views
  • Leadership potential and advocacy skills

Leaders will commit to at least 1 hour/week as club leader and must submit two reports on club activities.

What does a free speech club do?

Student Advocates for Speech clubs will meet monthly to discuss and promote the essential principles of free expression as they relate to contemporary issues affecting high school students. Activities include:

  • Advocacy letter writing to fight school book bans and support student protest rights
  • Facilitated discussions on free speech issues
  • Writing projects including op-eds, blogs and student newspaper articles 
  • Organize events for Banned Books Week and Student Press Freedom Day 
  • Mobilize national social media campaigns 
  • Represent NCAC at national educator conferences 



Application deadline: May 6, 2022

Advocacy Training details coming soon