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Free Speech Banner


Freedom of speech holds a central position among Americans’ constitutional principles. In troubled times more than half a century ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt uttered the visionary principles that would inspire a nation and guide America through World War II and into the 21st century. He called them the "Four Freedoms" – Freedom of Speech and Expression, Freedom of Religion, Freedom From Want, and Freedom From Fear.


Over the past 60 years, these ideals have survived, and triumphed. Today, free speech defines our American way of life. It is indeed a triumph of our democracy – a freedom to be celebrated. National Freedom of Speech Week IS that celebration!

National Freedom of Speech Week (NFSW) is celebrated during the third week of October every year. This year’s celebration will be October 18th-24th. By celebrating freedom of speech for a full week every year, National Freedom of Speech Week will help ensure that free speech remains "The Language of America."

What We’re Doing

Come by the Library to exercise your freedom of speech. Express yourself on our Free Expression Wall. The board is a tangible symbol and representation of the spirit of NFSW. It is meant to promote peaceful expression and nothing more.

Not sure what to share or express? Here are some ideas and prompts to get you going:

  • What does this right mean to you?
  • Why is freedom of speech important for sustaining our democracy?
  • If given the opportunity, what would you like to tell your school and/or local government officials?

What Else You Can Do To Participate

  • ENGAGE STUDENTS in a discussion, give a presentation, moderate a debate, or facilitate an activity, etc. (Topic ideas PDF )
  • RAISE FREE SPEECH AWARENESS by telling your friends, family, and co-workers about NFSW.
  • EXERCISE YOUR FREE SPEECH RIGHT by posting a message online. Compose a poem. Display a bumper sticker. Keep a journal. Write a letter to the editor. Speak out at a rally. Express yourself in the ways that work best for you. Just let your voice be heard!
  • GET OTHERS INVOLVED by talking to the organizations you belong to. Tell them about NFSW, and ask them to be partnering organizations.
  • BE MINDFUL AND AWARE that the freedom to speak your mind and express your thoughts is not given to everyone everywhere.
  •  STAND UP for what you believe is right. But, do so in a way that promotes peace and understanding, and doesn’t infringe on the rights and/or well-being of others.


Free Speech Week
National Communication Association (NCA)
American Bar Association (ABA)

ECU Libraries Materials