Find out who else is involved in promoting, educating, and advocating for First Amendment principles and civic engagement in schools.
Programs and Organizations
Active Citizenship, Empowering America's Youth
There is increasing evidence that students go through school without learning the knowledge, skills, and values that are essential to becoming responsible citizens. As our government becomes more decentralized, complex social problems, such as violence, crime, poverty, and pollution will require more active participation by informed citizens working together to solve them. This curriculum, Active Citizenship, Empowering America's Youth, teaches the rights, responsibilities, and civic values of U.S. citizenship. The curriculum includes a service learning group project in which students research and develop a solution for a real problem in their community.
Active Citizenship Today (ACT)
ACT, sponsored jointly by the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Close Up Foundation, involves middle and high school students in applying the knowledge and skills leaned in the classroom to solving problems in their communities.
Alliance for a Media Literate America
The mission of the alliance is to stimulate growth in media literacy education in the United States by organizing and providing national leadership, advocacy, networking, and information exchange. To help all people learn how to critically analyze and create messages using the wide variety of technological tools now available in and out of school, the alliance has brought together a diverse group of individuals and organizations to create a national nonprofit membership organization that strives to bring media literacy education to all 60 million students in the United States, their parents, their teachers, and others who care about youth.
American Bar Association Division for Public Education
The mission of the ABA Division for Public Education is to promote public understanding of law and its role in society. Recognizing the centrality of an informed and committed citizenry, the ABA Division for Public Education affirms the value of law in a democratic society.
The American Promise
The American Promise brings the American democratic system to life, letting students experience firsthand what it's like to govern and make the decisions that bind us together as a country. Since its premiere on KQED and PBS, the series has been used in more than 50,000 classrooms nationwide to provide lessons in government, civics, and history, with ideas that intrigue and inspire students.
American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) High School Journalism Project
ASNE wants to help scholastic journalism grow where it does not exist and flourish where it does. This project is geared towards teen journalists, their teachers and guidance counselors, and the editors and staffs of professional daily newspapers. Its goal is to encourage a diverse generation of young people to make newspaper journalism its career. Others will develop a deeper appreciation of the Fist Amendment and the role newspapers play in a free, informed society. This site is a place for people who care about newspapers to learn, share ideas, and celebrate hard work and success.
American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF)
The American Youth Policy Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan, professional development organization providing learning opportunities for policymakers on youth policy issues at the national, state and local level.
At the Table
AttheTable.org is a project of the At the Table: Youth Voices in Decision Making initiative. Hosted by the Innovative Center for Community and Youth Development, At the Table was formed to facilitate a coordinated, sustainable national youth participation movement. The project works with partners across the country to educate and inform about the value of youth participation, and to prepare youth and adults to work together to create positive change.
Bill of Rights Institute
Founded in 1999, the Bill of Rights Institute’s mission is to educate high school students about the Bill of Rights through classroom material and programs that teach what the Bill of Rights protects, both explicitly and implicitly; how the Bill of Rights affects our daily lives; and how the Bill of Rights shapes our society. The institute is dedicated to helping high school social studies teachers enhance their students’ understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and of the historical and intellectual origins of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
BridgeBuilders specializes in helping polarized groups in education, business and society, communicate past their differences and design mutually beneficial solutions that not only resolve the conflict, but also rebuild the fabric of their community. They help create a Common Ground environment by helping people appreciate the civic compact on which American society was founded and why that approach to our religious and cultural differences is in all of our best interest. Then they facilitate a dialogue that will allow them to think creatively for solutions that will not only resolve the conflict, but also engender a new sense of mutual respect and cooperation.
Center for Civic Education
The Center for Civic Education is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational corporation dedicated to fostering the development of informed, responsible participation in civic life by citizens committed to values and principles fundamental to U.S. constitutional democracy. The center specializes in civic and citizenship education, law-related education, and international education exchange programs for developing democracies. Programs focus on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; U.S. political traditions and institutions at the federal, state, and local levels; constitutionalism; civic participation; and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
Center for First Amendment Rights
CFAR is dedicated to increasing the understanding and appreciation of the First Amendment and the U.S. Constitution among students and the general public, particularly in Connecticut and other New England states. CFAR provides diverse educational programming and serves as a resource center for First Amendment issues and information.
Character Education Partnership (CEP)
CEP is a nonpartisan coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to developing moral character and civic virtue in the nation’s youth as one means of creating a more compassionate and responsible society.
Civics in Action
Provided by Current Links in Education, Civics in Action seeks to educate and inspire students to become engaged and responsible citizens. Through its instructional program, Civics in Action brings to life and helps students understand the principles of U.S. government, the Constitution, and the virtues that are basis of a healthy democracy. The organization provides teachers with a “turnkey” supplement to bring the social studies curriculum to life. The program is composed of biweekly lessons that use a current event or issue to reinforce a principle of U.S. government and to help students understand and develop an appreciation for virtues.
CivWorld Global Citizens Campaign for Democracy
The CivWorld Citizens Campaign for Democracy at the University of Maryland begins with the premise that people - citizens of their own communities, their nations and the world - can and must be the driving force and the principal agents of change for a more democratic world. CivWorld's vision is a world of democratic nations and a world of nations whose relations are democratically governed.
Close Up Foundation
Each year, more than 20,000 students and teachers come to Washington, DC with the Close Up foundation for a "close-up" experience in government. Its Web site offers valuable curricular materials for civic education, as well as information about Close Up's state and local programs.
Constitutional Rights Foundation
Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) is a non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating America's young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society. Under the guidance of a Board of Directors chosen from the worlds of law, business, government, education, the media, and the community, CRF develops, produces, and distributes programs and materials to teachers, students, and public-minded citizens all across the nation.
Council on Islamic Education (CIE)
Founded in 1990, CIE is a national, nonprofit resource organization composed of a diverse body of scholars of history, religion, education, and related disciplines. The mission of CIE is to contribute to the improvement of the U.S. K-12 education system, by participating in the cultivation of knowledge, critical thinking, and global awareness among the nation’s young citizens. To achieve its mission, the CIE provides services, resources, and research-based tools predicated upon the highest standards of historical and social science scholarship to K-12 school textbook publishers, state education officials and policymakers, curriculum developers, and teachers.
Through Earth Force, youth discover and implement lasting solutions to environmental issues in their community. In the process they develop lifelong habits of active citizenship and environmental stewardship. Educators turn to Earth Force for innovative tools to engage young people in community problem solving. Earth Force is youth driven with a national Youth Advisory Board (YAB) made up of 15 members, ages 12-17. The YAB helps develop and implement Earth Force programs.
Educators for Social Responsibility
ESR’s mission is to make teaching social responsibility a core practice in education so that young people develop the convictions and skills needed to shape a safe, sustainable, democratic, and just world. ESR is nationally recognized for promoting children’s ethical and social development through its leadership in conflict resolution, violence prevention, intergroup relations, and character education.
Federal Courts Community Outreach
Sponsored by the Office of Public Affairs at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, this program links courts to their communities through educational initiatives that increase understanding by bringing teachers, students, lawyers, community leaders, and the media into courthouses throughout the country.
First Amendment Center
An independent affiliate of the Freedom Forum, the Center works to preserve and protect First Amendment freedoms through information and education, in part by tracking court rulings, legislation, and other events that are related to the First Amendment freedoms.
The Forum for Education and Democracy
The Forum for Education and Democracy is devoted to supporting educational policies and practices that prepare the young for a life of active and engaged citizenship. Their aim is to re-center the democratic purpose of public schools and to promote education for democratic life based on the following guiding principles: high quality schools and teachers focused on educating for democracy; equitable and adequate school resources for all children; and the appropriate democratic control of public schools.
Institute for Global Ethics (IGE)
IGE’s Education Program promotes thinking and learning about core principles and their importance to our future as a nation and as a world community. The “Ethical Fitness” approach can help school communities come together around the core, shared values that also make constitutional government viable. “Ethical Fitness” critical thinking activities also help connect students to content they study in school. An international nonprofit organization dedicated to “public discourse and practical action,” IGE offers staff development workshops to increase awareness, define shared values, develop best practices based on those values, and develop reasoning skills to address complex ethical issues.
Journalism Education Association
The Journalism Education Association, Inc., is the only independent national scholastic journalism organization for teachers and advisers. Founded in 1924, JEA is a volunteer organization that supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and education opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere that encompasses diversity yet builds unity.
Justice Learning is an innovative, issue-based approach for engaging high school students in informed political discourse. Their Web site uses audio from the Justice Talking radio show and articles from The New York Times to teach students about reasoned debate and the often-conflicting values inherent in our democracy. Their Web site also includes articles, editorials and oral debate from the nation's finest journalists and advocates
The League of Professional Schools
The League of Professional Schools is a practitioner driven network of schools in which each school initiates and implements a democratic learning community that is student-oriented and focused on improving teaching and learning for all.
Learn and Serve America
Learn and Serve America supports service-learning programs in schools and community organizations. The organization helps nearly one million students from kindergarten through college meet community needs while improving their academic skills and learning the habits of good citizenship. Learn and Serve grants are used to create new programs or replicate existing programs, as well as to provide training and development of staff, faculty, and volunteers.
The Learning First Alliance
The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of 12 leading education associations with more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. We believe that education associations must take responsibility for uniting key players in the education field, focusing attention on critical education issues, and using sound research to promote the continual and long-term improvement of public education.
Learning in Deed
Learning in Deed, a $13 million, four-year initiative, will encourage more school systems across the country to adopt service learning, making quality service-learning opportunities available to youth in every classroom in grades K-12 throughout the United States.
Let Freedom Ring Award Program
For the third consecutive year, the Journalism Education Association has joined the First Amendment Center, the National Scholastic Press Association, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and Quill and Scroll in a national program identifying First Amendment High Schools throughout the United States. The program, Let Freedom Ring Award: America’s First Amendment High Schools, recognizes public high schools that actively support and protect First Amendment rights of their students and teachers.
Listen Up!, a project of Learning Matters Inc., encourages and facilitates a youth voice in the mass media that can contribute to a culture of free speech and social responsibility. The project seeks to create communications opportunities for youth that have traditionally been denied access to the public realm because of economic circumstances, incarceration, homelessness, or prejudice because of color, creed, or sexual orientation. Listen Up! is a network of more than 70 youth media organizations and schools nationwide whose young media makers are producing stereotype-challenging messages for the “America’s Youth Speak Out” public service campaign. Since 1999, Listen Up! producers have submitted more than 600 radio, TV, and Web banner messages, increasing visibility of youth media within local communities and nationwide.
National Alliance for Civic Education (NACE)
NACE was launched in 2000 and now has more than 150 group and individual members committed to advancing civic knowledge and engagement. NACE believes the time has come to band together to ensure that the next generation of citizens understands and values democracy and participates in the ongoing work of building democracy in America.
National Conference for Community Justice (NCCJ)
Founded in 1927 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews, NCCJ is a human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry, and racism in America. NCCJ promotes understanding and respect among all races, religions, and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution, and education.
National Constitution Center and Museum
The National Constitution Center is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance. The first-ever national museum honoring and explaining the U.S. Constitution tells the story of the document that framed the American idea. The museum includes interactive exhibits and a theater with a live-actor-and-light show engagingly framing the importance of the Constitution to us as a nation and to the world.
Nation Council for Social Studies (NCSS)
Founded in 1921, NCSS is the largest association in North American devoted solely to social studies education. NCSS serves as an umbrella organization for K-12 teachers of civics, history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and law-related education. The mission of NCSS is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators creating effective citizens. The revitalization of citizenship education is one of NCSS’s highest priorities.
National Scholastic Press Association (SCPA)
In 1921, NSPA began helping students and teachers to improve their publications. Today that goal remains their priority. NSPA helps students to become better reporters, writers, editors, photographers, designers, and desktop publishers, as well as advertising and business staffers. The association also helps advisers to those publications.
National Service-Learning Clearing House (NSLC)
The Learn and Serve America NSLC support the service-learning community in higher education, K-12, community-based initiatives and tribal programs, as well as all others interested in strengthening schools and communities using service-learning techniques and methodologies. The clearinghouse stands ready to assist with materials, references referrals, and information. It also maintains a Web site and an ever-growing library collection that is available to Learn and Serve America grantees.
National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC)
The council’s mission is to build vital, just communities with young people through service learning. As one of the most prominent advocates of service learning and national service in the United States, NYLC is at the forefront of efforts to reform education and guide youth-oriented public policy.
The Newseum is first interactive museum of news, and its Web site is a great resource for students and educators alike. There you'll find an interactive news quiz, today's frontpages from over 250 newspapers worldwide, and an online exhibit hall.
Newsweek Education Program
The Newsweek Education program is designed to help teachers and parents build bridges to real-world issues. The program recently produced a 36-page news source, Living Up to the First Amendment, that offers lessons on all five freedoms.
Open Society Institute (OSI) Urban Debate Program
OSI’s Urban Debate Program seeks to institutionalize competitive policy debate as an extracurricular and academic activity in urban school districts across the United States. Based on the Urban Debate League model founded by the Barkley Forum at Emory University, the Urban Debate Program has funded debate leagues in Atlanta; Baltimore; Chicago; Detroit; Kansas City; northern New Jersey; New York; Seattle; St. Louis; Tuscaloosa; Providence; the San Francisco Bay Area; southern California; and Washington, D.C. The program’s primary objective is to make debate accessible to those students most in need of the skills and benefits that it generates.
Our Documents is a national initiative on America history, civics, and service that invites all Americans to participate in a series of events and programs to get us thinking, talking, and teaching about the rights and responsibilities of citizens in our democracy. At the heart of this initiative are 100 milestone documents of American history. Through classroom activities and competitions, Our Documents encourages students, teachers, parents, and the general public to discuss the meanings of these documents and decide which are the most significant and why.
Project 540 was created to give students a greater voice in their schools and their communities. You don’t need a number 2 pencil to participate, and there won’t be any tests or grades. This program is based entirely on students’ insights, ideas, and dreams. This is a chance for students to imagine a better world. With 100,000 students participating nationwide, Project 540 is their turn to make a change.
Project Citizen a middle school civic education program designed to develop interest in public policy making as well as the ability to participate competently and responsibly in state and local government. The program is administered by the Center for Civic Education, in cooperation with the National Conference of State Legislatures. In an assessment by Professor Kenneth Tolo, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, one conclusion reached was that “students using Project Citizen do make a difference in their communities.”
Radio and Television News Directors Foundation (RTNDF)
RTNDF promotes excellence in electronic journalism through research, education, and training for new professionals and journalism students. RTNDF’s work is supported by contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals.
Radio Rookies is a program from New York’s public radio station WNYC Radio, “AM 820 and 93.9 FM,” that trains young people to use words and sounds to tell true stories about themselves, their families, their communities, and the world. Through a series of 12-week work-shops, each held in a new neighborhood, Radio Rookies gives teenagers the tools to become radio journalists and helps them gain the skills, confidence, and determination necessary to get their voices on the airwaves.
Rights Matter: the Story of the Bill of Rights
Rights Matter, a product of the Bill of Rights Education Project based at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, develops innovative strategies of citizenship education that are designed to make the Bill of Rights relevant to young people. The Project encourages teachers and middle and high school students to think critically about the difficult issues being debated in society and the courts, seeing this as essential to the future well-being of democracy.
St. Albans School of Public Service
The St. Albans School of Public Service is a four-week summer program for high school students entering their senior year. During their time in the program, students build a strong foundation for a future in public service by gaining an understanding of the complexities of the United States government and by fine-tuning their abilities through discussions of case studies, guest speaker presentations, and study visits. Located in Washington, D.C., on the campus of the National Cathedral, the School of Public Service gives students exciting opportunities to view firsthand the preserved history and working politics at the nation’s capital. Students are provided housing on the campus and have access to a full range of athletic facilities and activities.
Student Press Law Center (SPLC)
SPLC is an advocate for student free-press rights. The center provides information, advice, and legal assistance at no charge to students and the educators who work with them. Three times a year, SPLC also publishes a magazine that summarizes current cases, controversies, and legislation, and analyzes trends involving student media law.
Street Law, Inc.
Street Law is practical, participatory education about law, democracy, and human rights. Through its philosophy and programs, Street Law empowers people to transform democratic ideals into citizen action. Street Law’s programs do not end at the door of the classroom. Each student gains essential lessons that can be used for life.
Teach the First Amendment
Created by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, this site features links to organizations offering free resources to get the First Amendment into high school classrooms.
USA Freedom Corps
As a coordinating council housed at the White House and chaired by President George W. Bush, USA Freedom Corps is working to strengthen the United States’ culture of service and help find opportunities for every American to start volunteering. In the last 30 years, community involvement has been in decline. The corps takes President Bush’s challenge to foster a renewed culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility seriously, and it is bringing together the resources of the deferral government with the nonprofit, business, educational, faith-based, and other sectors to begin that process and to measure results.
Youth Free Expression Network (YFEN)
YFEN is a project of the Free Expression Policy Project, a think tank on artistic and intellectual freedom. YFEN works to empower youth to advocate on behalf of their own free expression rights through a speaker’s bureau for young activists, a Web site, educational materials, and direct outreach to minors.
Youth Service America
A resource center and alliance of more than 200 organizations are committed to increasing the quantity and quality of opportunities for young U.S. citizens to serve locally, nationally, or globally.
American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
Founded in 1865, AASA is one of the most long-standing professional education leadership organizations in the nation. Its more than 15,000 members, located across North America and in other parts of the world, include top systems-wide school leaders such as superintendents, other central office administrators, principals, and board members, as well as professors and others who prepare educators for leadership positions.
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
The AFT is a 950,000-member union of public and professional employees, including public and private school teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (PSRPs), higher education faculty and professionals, employees of state and local governments, nurses and health professionals. The union operates at the local, state, and national level to represent its members, strengthen public education and its members' professions, and address issues that affect all children and working Americans.
American Political Science Association (APSA)
With more than 13,500 members residing in more than 70 countries, APSA is the world’s largest professional organization for the study of politics. APSA offers an extraordinary range of programs and services for individuals, departments, and institutions, brining together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors in order to expand awareness and understanding of political life.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
Founded in 1943, ASCD is an international, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that represents 160,000 educators from more than 135 countries and more than 60 affiliates. Their members span the entire profession of educators—superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education, and school board members. The ASCD Web site features important publications, professional development opportunities, and membership information.
Compact for Learning and Citizenship, Education Commission of the States (ECS)
The Compact for Learning and Citizenship is a nationwide coalition of chief state school officers, district superintendents, and others who are committed to infusing service learning into the K-12 curriculum. CLC gathers and disseminates information, provides training and technical assistance, builds partnerships and networks, and serves as a national voice for creating high-quality service-learning opportunities for all students.
Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
CCSSO is a nationwide, nonprofit organization composed of public officials who lead the departments responsible for elementary and secondary education in the states, the U.S. extrastate jurisdictions, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. CCSSO assists the chiefs in preparing policies and represents them on nationwide policies for education. CCSSO assists state agencies in developing leadership capacity through government- and foundation-funded projects.
Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE)
The council serves as a national resource for schools to encourage the moral, ethical, and spiritual development of young people. It also promotes community service, providing resources and a network for schools’ involvement in community service and service learning. CSEE’s programs and services are developed to encourage a school climate of open ethical and religious inquiry and expression. The council supports instruction in world religions and ethics as essential components of a complete education.
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
Established in 1921, NAESP serves 27,000 elementary and middle school principals nationwide. Dedicated to educational excellence and high professional standards among K-8 educators, NAESP works at the national, state, and local levels to help school leaders provide the best possible education to the children and youth in their schools. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, NAESP has an affiliate in every state and the District of Columbia.
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
NAIS, governed by a board of directors, represents more than 1,100 independent schools and associations in the United States and abroad. The association offers a broad variety of services to member schools and associations. NAIS membership includes day schools, boarding schools and combination boarding and day schools.
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
The National Association of Secondary School Principals--the preeminent organization and the national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals and aspiring school leaders--provides its members the professional resources to serve as visionary leaders. NASSP promotes the intellectual growth, academic achievement, character development, leadership development, and physical well-being of youth through its programs and student leadership services. NASSP sponsors the National Honor Society(tm), the National Junior Honor Society(tm), and the National Association of Student Councils(tm).
National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
NASBE is a nonprofit, private association that represents state and territorial boards of education. Its principal objectives include strengthening state leaders of education policymaking, promoting excellence in the education of all students, advocating equality of access to educational opportunity, and assuring continued citizen support for public education. The association services more than 600 individuals, including members of state boards, state board attorney, and state board executive secretaries. These members are responsible for the educational interest of more than 40 million students in public schools and more than 3 million students in postsecondary institutions.
National Education Association (NEA)
The NEA is America’s oldest and largest organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 in Philadelphia and now headquartered in Washington, D.C., NEA has 2.5 million members who work at every level of education, from preschool to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliates in every state as well as in more than 13,000 local communities across the United States.
National School Boards Association (NSBA)
NSBA is the nationwide advocacy organization for public school governance. NSBA’s mission is to foster excellence and equity in public elementary and secondary education in the United States through local school board leadership. Founded in 1940, NSBA is a not-for-profit federation of state associations of school board across the United States and the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NSBA represents the nation’s 95,000 school board members. These board members govern 14,722 local school districts that serve more than 45 million public school students—approximately 90 percent of all elementary and secondary school students in the nation.
The Nation PTA is the oldest and largest volunteer association in the United States, working exclusively on behalf of children and youth for more than 100 years. The National PTA consists of more than 6.5 million members 26,000 local units in 50 states, District of Columbia, and Pacific Congress and European Congress, which serve Department of Defense schools overseas. Members include parents, teachers, students, and other child advocates.
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidelines on prayer in public schools. These guidelines are related to No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Although mostly consistent with guidelines distributed during the Clinton administration, there are new interpretations of current aw. Moreover, the failure of a school district to comply with the guidance could result in the loss of federal funding.
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE)
ABFFE is the bookseller’s voice in the fight against censorship. Founded by the American Booksellers Association in 1990, ABFFE’s mission is to promote and protect the free exchange of ideas, particularly those contained in books, by opposing restrictions on the freedom of speech; issuing statements on significant free expression controversies; participating in legal cases involving First Amendment rights; collaborating with other groups with an interest in free speech; and providing education about the importance of free expression to booksellers, other members of the book industry, politicians, the press, and the public.
American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)
ACLJ engages in litigation, provides legal services, renders advice and counsels clients, and supports attorneys who are involved in defending the religious and civil liberties of U.S. citizens. The center has a national network of attorneys who are committed to the defense of Judeo-Christian values. ACLJ also cooperates with other organizations that are committed to a similar mission, and serves the public through educational efforts regarding First Amendment and religious freedom issues as well as profamily and prolife concerns.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Since its founding in 1920, the ACLU has worked to fight civil liberties violations wherever and whenever they occur. The ACLU works daily in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and the laws of the United States
American Jewish Committee
AJC has a three-part mission: to safeguard the welfare and security of Jews in the United States, in Israel, and throughout the world; to strengthen the basic principles of pluralism around the world, as the best defense against anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry; and to enhance the quality of Jewish life in the United States by helping to ensure Jewish continuity and deepen ties between U.S. and Israeli Jews.
American Jewish Congress (AJCongress)
The mission of the AJCongress is to protect fundamental constitutional freedoms and U.S. democratic institutions, particularly the civil and religious rights and liberties of all U.S. citizens and the separation of church and state; advance the security and prosperity of the State of Israel and its democratic institutions, and to support Israeli’s search for peaceful relations with its neighbors in the region; advance social and economic justice, women’s equality, and human rights at home and abroad; remain vigilant against anti-Semitism, racism, and other forms of bigotry, and to celebrate cultural diversity and promote unity in U.S. life; and invigorate and enhance Jewish religious, institutional, communal and cultural life at home and abroad, and seek creative ways to express Jewish identity, ethics, and values.
American Library Association ( ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries. To meet its educational goals, the office undertakes information, support, and coordination activities.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU)
Since 1947, AU has worked to protect the constitutional principle of church-state separation, a vital cornerstone of religious liberty. Citizens of many faiths and political viewpoints, individuals from all walks of life, have come together to defend freedoms. According to AU, mandatory prayer in public schools, tax dollars for parochial schools, government intrusion into religious affairs, and meddling in partisan politics by religious groups are among the troubling issues that threaten the protective wall between church and state. Daily, on members’ behalf, AU confronts these problems and those who seek to force their religious views on the public.
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
The mission of ADL is to expose and combat the purveyors of hared in our midst, responding to whatever new challenges may arise. Where once ADL protested admissions quotas at leading graduate schools, today it exposes Internet sites devoted to Holocaust denial and white-supremacist propaganda. The particulars may change, but the goal remains the same: to stand up for the core values of the United States against those who seek to undermine them through word or deed. ADL looks to its past record for inspiration as it goes forward into the new millennium and its second century.
Baptist Joint Committee (BJC)
The mission of the BJC is to defend and extend God-given religious liberty for all, while bringing a uniquely Baptist witness to the principle that religion must be freely exercised, neither advanced nor inhibited by government.
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. Founded in 1973 by the late Father Virgil C. Blum, S.J., the league defends the rights of Catholics--lay and clergy alike--to participate in U.S. public life without defamation or discrimination. Motivated by the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment, the league works to safeguard both the religious freedom rights and the free speech rights of Catholics whenever and wherever they are threatened.
Christian Legal Society (CLS)
CLS is a national, nondenominational membership organization of attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students, working in association with others, to follow Jesus’s command “to do justice with the love of God.” (Luke 11:42; Matthew 23:23). Active through its national staff, its member volunteers, and its attorney and law student chapters, the society’s mission is to identify, equip, and mobilize “a national grassroots network of lawyers and law students committed to proclaiming, loving and serving Jesus Christ, through all we do in the practice of law, and by advocating biblical conflict reconciliation, public justice, religious freedom and the sanctity of human life.”
Family Resource Council (FRC)
FRC champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. The council shapes public debate and formulates public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family. Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the family, FRC promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
GLSEN is the leading national organization fighting to end antigay bias in K-12 schools. Because GLSEN holds that homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, it works to educate teachers, students, and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike. The network recognizes that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities and it supports schools in seeking to redress all such inequities. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community. GLSEN welcomes as members any and all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, expression, or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools.
People for the American Way Foundation (PFAWF)
PFAWF is committed to defending democracy and bringing the ideals of community, opportunity, diversity, equality, and fairness together to form a strong, united voice. To achieve this, PFAWF conducts research, legal, and education work; it monitors and researches the religious right movement and its political allies. The organization is a premier source of vital information for policymakers, scholars, and activities nationwide.
Religious Action Center (RAC)
RAC has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in the nation’s capital for more than 40 years. It has educated and mobilized the U.S. Jewish community on legislative and social concerns as an advocate in the Congress of the United States on issues ranging from Israel and Soviet Jewry to economic justice and civil rights, to international peace and religious liberty. RAC is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation (UAHC) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), representing 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1,700 Reform rabbis in 900 congregations throughout North America.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression is an organization devoted solely to the defense of free expression in all its forms. Although its charge is sharply focused, the center’s mission is broad. The center is as concerned with the musician as with the mass media, with the painter as with the publisher, and as much with the sculptor as with the editor. Its programs cover issues of education, public policy, and the arts. The center enjoys close ties to the University of Virginia but is an autonomous, not-for-profit entity.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | 13:54:04