Free Speech Is For Me is our new training and mentoring programme that will equip 13 advocates, who are from the UK and the USA, to challenge censorship, defend 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 colour, 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 are now supporting these advocates 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. They will end the programme with a clearer understanding of the challenges of censorship and the tools to overcome them.

Meet the mentors

Through training and mentoring, Free Speech Is For Me is equipping people from all backgrounds and beliefs to speak out against censorship. The mentors will work with the 13 advocates to help them defend and champion the issue of free speech.

Jodie Ginsberg
CEO, Index on Censorship
Will Gore
Kiri Kankhwende
Journalist and campaigner
Meera Selva
Konstantin Kisin
Kenan Malik
Writer, lecturer and broadcaster
Author and journalist