The Youth Free Expression Program empowers youth with knowledge, tools and opportunities to assert and defend their right to free expression.

Young people become thoughtful and informed adult citizens by learning, questioning and building critical thinking skills. This is undermined by attempts to stifle young voices and shield young people from controversial, disturbing or “inappropriate” content. 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.

KEY ISSUES: Books + Protest Press Art Internet

School Visits + Collaborative Workshops
We create innovative programming to ensure that young people understand their right to free speech, both in and out of school. We also work with groups of teachers, administrators and school leaders on policy guidance.
Learn more about School Visits + Collaborative Workshops

Tools for Activists

Tools for Activists

Youth Censorship Database and Map

Be Heard! Protecting Your Protest Rights

Defend LGBTQ Stories

Defend LGBTQ Stories: A Resource

Kids' Right to Read Book Censorship Action Kit

Book Censorship Action Kit

The Show Must Go On: Toolkit for Organizing Against Theatre Censorship in Schools

Theater Censorship in Public Schools

Book Censorship
NCAC’s Kids Right to Read Project (KRRP) confronts challenges to books in school and public libraries, advocates against book rating systems and opposes censorship in school curricula.

If you have experienced a book challenge in your school or library, please report it here.


Community-Based Advocacy
The Florida Education Defenders are a group of organizations working together to fight book censorship in Florida schools and empower local citizens members to combat school censorship in their communities.

If you’d like to discuss your community’s needs for a similar alliance, please get in touch.


Meet Ny’Shira Lundy and learn how she became a LITERARY ACTIVIST, watch Maggie Budzyna‘s film CENSORED and read about Jessica Kim‘s FIRST PROTEST. Read about a painting created at an after-school Black Lives Matter workshop at Sunset Park High School, and about the student journalist protest at Prosper High School; learn about how recent student sit-ins broke the record for the longest ever Howard University student protest, harkening back to historic campus takeovers by black student activists in the 1960s.


The annual YFEP Film Contest invites teenagers to create a short film on a contemporary free speech debate of particular relevance to young people. The theme for 2021 is BODY LANGUAGE.

The theme for 2019 was SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER. See the finalists’ films here.


The best way to combat censorship is to call it out as it happens.


If you have experienced or witnessed a threat to free expression rights, please contact us!
An advocate with get in touch with you.

Additional Information

NCAC systematically opposes government efforts to restrict minors’ access to video games, and questions the claim that exposure to fantasy violence in video games, media, and books causes violent behavior. NCAC’s work on harassment and bullying emphasizes that speech rights cannot and need not be sacrificed to protect against discrimination.

The Youth Free Expression Program (YFEP) is supported by a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation.