Our Vision

We envision an American society that understands, values, defends, and vigorously exercises free expression in a just, egalitarian, diverse, and inclusive democracy.

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

Our Core Beliefs

  1. Free expression is fundamental to both individuals and society. The right to free expression is a basic human right and essential to human fulfillment.
  1. The right to free expression, including the right to access ideas, information, art and science, makes it possible for original thought and creativity to thrive.
  1. We are a non-partisan organization. We defend the right to free expression no matter how controversial or objectionable to many the expression may be.
  1. While our work enforces First Amendment principles, we defend freedom of expression when menaced by unwarranted suppression from any source, including local, state and federal officials, private individuals and corporations. Free expression issues are particularly complex and evolving in the increasingly important social media sphere, in which some individuals and entities wield great power. We advocate measures that will foster free expression in this crucial arena.

Read more about how we work.

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.