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


Kids' Right to Read Book Censorship Action Kit

Book Censorship Action Kit

Youth Censorship Database and Map

Tools for Activists

Tools for Activists

Be Heard! Protecting Your Protest Rights

Defend LGBTQ Stories

Defend LGBTQ Stories: A Resource

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 and opposes censorship in school curricula. We work behind the scenes with groups of teachers, administrators and school leaders on policy guidance.

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

Right to Read Network
In response to the emergence of nationwide political groups organizing to remove books from library shelves, NCAC has created the Right to Read Network (RRN). RRN is a national network of freedom-to-read affiliates in communities across the United States. Affiliates are activists fighting back against the removal of books from libraries at the local level.

If you’d like to join the RRN, you can apply here.

Student Advocates for Speech
The Student Advocates for Speech (SAS) Fellowship is a one-of-a-kind program which focuses on creating high school-level student advocates who can speak about the direct impact that book bannings and other forms of educational censorship have on their ability to learn and engage in free inquiry and critical thinking.

More information about the program is available here.

Youth Free Expression Film Contest
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 2024 is “Free Speech and Artificial Intelligence”

The theme for 2023 was “Speaking with People whose Ideas you Hate”.


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 will get in touch with you.