Our Mission

Every generation of Americans faces new and significant challenges to free expression. For almost 50 years, NCAC has acted as a first responder to protect this freedom, which is both a fundamental human right and a keystone of democracy in the ever-changing American nation. We promote freedom of thought and inquiry and oppose censorship. When controversy occurs, we encourage and facilitate dialogue between divergent voices and perspectives, including those that have historically been silenced.

Who We Serve

  • Students, teachers, librarians, parents and others opposing censorship in schools and libraries
  • Artists, curators and museum directors resisting art censorship
  • Writers and publishers
  • Activists and protestors
  • Dramatists, filmmakers, creators of all forms of art and cultural production
  • Our coalition partners

How We Work

Advocate

For 45 years our alliance of more than 50 national non-profit organizations, including literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups has engaged in direct advocacy and education to support First Amendment principles. NCAC is unique in that we are national in scope, but often local in our approach. Our interventions include writing letters to government agencies, cultural institutions, universities and schools, and issuing statements, sometimes jointly, to the press.

Activate

We work with community members to resolve censorship controversies without the need for litigation, but we have also led or signed onto amicus briefs in important First Amendment cases. We also offer support behind the scenes, guiding public officials in developing policies that preserve free expression rights and foster open discourse and referring at-risk targets of censorship to lawyers who provide their services pro bono.

Educate

NCAC creates and distributes free resources, tailored for specific audiences, aimed at supporting our constituents in combating censorship in their communities, as well as educating them about their rights. This includes students, artists, curators, parents, teachers and school administrators. Over the years, NCAC has created hundreds of resources of all types. We currently maintain a library of 120 different resources at ncac.org

Solutions

NCAC works with all involved parties in censorship disputes to avoid litigation. This often involves helping multiples parties develop best practices and better policies and guidelines for any future disputes.

Read more about our core values.

PROGRAMS

Youth Free Expression Program

The Youth Free Expression Program empowers youth with knowledge, tools and opportunities to assert and defend their right to free expression. YFEP believes that denying young people the freedom to create, explore and inquire is counterproductive and dangerous. Young people have every right to participate in conversations–locally, nationally and globally–that affect their lives.

Kids' Right to Read Project

The Kids’ Right to Read Project offers support, education, and direct advocacy to people facing book challenges or bans in schools and libraries and engages local advocates in promoting the freedom to read.KRRP has helped defend hundreds of titles, in almost every state in the nation. It was co-founded with the American Booksellers for Free Expression and is supported in part by the American Booksellers for Free Expression and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Arts Advocacy Program

The Arts Advocacy Program is the only national project dedicated to working directly with individual artists and curators involved in censorship disputes. AAP protects artists’ rights to participate in the democratic dialogue through advocacy and education, by defending public access to artists’ work  and supporting their ability to freely express views that might be unpopular or controversial.

Report Censorship

The best way to fight censorship is to call it out when it happens. If your free expression rights have been threatened, or you have witnessed the expression rights of others being threatened, please let us know!

We take on new cases everyday. Tell us your story.

Free Expression Network

The Free Expression Network is an alliance of organizations dedicated to protecting the First Amendment right of free expression and the values it represents, and to opposing governmental efforts to suppress constitutionally-protected speech. FEN members provide a wide range of expertise, resources and services to policymakers, the media, scholars, and the public at large.