One of the most talked-about free speech issues in the United States has little to do with the First Amendment, the legislature, or the courts. A set of related controversies and concerns have roiled college and university campuses, pitting student activists against administrators, faculty, and, almost as often, against other students. The clashes, centering on the use of language, the treatment of minorities and women, and the space for divergent ideas, have shined a spotlight on fundamental questions regarding the role and purpose of the university in American society. While free speech is alive and well on campus, it is not free from threats, and must be vigilantly guarded if its continued strength is to be assured.

Read the PEN America Principles on Campus Free Speech »

Read PEN America’s comprehensive report, Chasm in the Classroom: Campus Free Speech in a Divided America »

Read PEN America’s 2016 report, And Campus For All: Diversity, Inclusion, and Freedom of Speech at U.S. Universities »

Interested in working with us to develop a workshop, convening, or other event on your campus? Contact [email protected]

For media inquiries, please contact Stephen Fee at [email protected] or +1 646.779.4830


Program Staff

Jonathan Friedman
Project Director, Campus Free Speech






Recent Event

headshots of paneilsts at the Negotiating Difficult Conversations event

Negotiating Difficult Conversations
Thursday, May 2, 2019 | 6:00-8:00pm

With Jonathan Friedman, Emerson Sykes, Dr. Simran Jeet Singh, and Dr. Merav Ben-Nun.
Read a recap of the event here »