THE PROGRAM

NCAC has selected 12 student leaders to launch Student Advocates for Speech clubs in their high schools. Club leaders attended virtual advocacy training and will receive ongoing NCAC guidance and support for their clubs for the 2022-2023 school year.

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 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
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.

Still have questions? Please visit our Student Advocates for Speech FAQ.

** View Student Handbook **