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Apply for Free Speech Training and Mentoring

  • Do you believe freedom of speech should be universal?

  • Are you passionate about justice, equality and freedom?

  • Do you have experience in activism, advocacy or community engagement? Do you believe that freedom to speak is important for your work?

If so, then Free Speech Is for Me could be for you. Our new training and mentoring aims to equip you to challenge censorship, defend your speech rights and champion freedom of expression for other activists.

Free speech has been critical to social movements throughout history. It has consistently been used as a powerful tool for marginalised groups to articulate their grievances and demand to be heard.

But, today discussions surrounding “free speech” have unfortunately been dominated by a small number of people who seek to use it primarily to curtail the rights of others and spread hate, leading many to question it as a value.

However, when the principle of free speech is abandoned, those who already face oppression are hurt most: including people of color, religious and ethnic minorities, and those who campaign on sex and gender issues. Free Speech Is for Me aims to show how freedom of expression furthers democracy and individual liberty, and benefits everyone. If we allow free speech protections to be weakened, we lose our greatest tool in advocating for change.

We want to support you in reclaiming free speech as a fundamental right that must apply to everyone by offering training and mentoring on freedom of expression issues. This will include one on one support from leading free speech experts plus media, communications and public speaking training. You will end the programme with a clearer understanding of the challenges of censorship and the tools to overcome them.

Who can apply?

We are recruiting six people in the US and six people in the UK, from groups whose belief in the value of free expression principles has been challenged in recent years.

We are seeking applicants who would bring a different angle to discussions around free speech.

Applicants may come from all age groups and particular consideration will be given to activists who have experienced the shutting down of speech. We want applicants who will champion free speech as a right that benefits them and their peers and is essential to their cause but is also a right shared by all.

What will it involve?

If your application is successful you will receive:

  • Mentoring: Advocates will be paired with experienced free speech advocates who will act as an advisor and mentor to each individual over the course of the training. You will have 4-6 meetings delivered either face to face or virtually, plus additional support as needed.
  • Media training: Advocates will receive one full day of professional media training plus regular training on public speaking/writing as necessary.
  • Public events: Advocates will be given the skills to talk about issues of free speech at public events, in private meetings and in the media. We will work with you to identify these opportunities. We will pay for your expenses to attend training and a speaker fee for events and writing.

How do I apply?

Please complete the following application form and submit to us by September 17, 2019.

If you are shortlisted you will also be asked for full resume and may be invited to an interview, which will take place during the last week of September.