What is it? FIRE is bringing together the next generation of free speech leaders for the inaugural FIRE Free Speech Leadership Summit. The Summit is a free, week-long summer program for college-bound high school students who are interested in free speech.
Where and when? Temple University, Philadelphia. Sunday, June 23 to Saturday, June 29, 2024.
Why is it important? Freedom of speech is a fundamental American freedom and human right. It is essential for democracy, scientific progress, artistic expression, social justice, peace, and our ability to live as authentic individuals. FIRE is always looking for new ways to promote free speech, especially to younger people, and show that it's a value worth fighting for. We believe in the next generation’s potential to advance free speech culture and will do what we can to help them succeed.
Who can attend? The Summit is open to college-bound students attending a school (or are homeschooled) in the U.S. who are currently enrolled in 8th through 11th grade.
Who's running this? FIRE is! We’re a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit that defends and promotes the value of free speech for all Americans in our courtrooms, on our campuses, and in our culture. Read more about our mission and work here.
We’re also partnering with Junior State of America, a student-led organization that prepares a diverse community of high school students to participate effectively in our democracy.
What will be taught? Students will gain a thorough understanding of free speech, including what it is, why it’s important, and how it empowers all of us to solve real-world problems and achieve our full potential. We’ll have five unique learning tracks to give students an experience tailored to their individual interests. The tracks are Free Speech Law, Journalism, Free Speech Philosophy, Making an Impact, and Social Media and Entertainment.
Why should a student attend? Attendees can expect to have a fun and educational week with FIRE’s expert staff exploring all things free speech through captivating presentations, collaborative projects, and creative activities. And where else will high schoolers get the chance to meet other students from across the country who share their interest in free speech?
Students will leave the summit ready to be leaders who advocate for free speech in their communities and on campuses when they get to college. Each student will also receive a certificate of participation that will look good on their resume and college application.