While the most-discussed threats to free expression in the U.S. come lately from a president who denigrates journalists and savages the truth, dangers to free expression run deeper than the current administration and will outlast it.
Widening fissures in our society are leading to unprecedented calls to rein in offensive speech. Publishing houses and entertainment studios still exclude essential voices. The rapid spread of fraudulent and vitriolic content online demands new ways to mitigate the impact of harmful speech. Vulnerable communities question whether the First Amendment protects only the hateful and the powerful as legislative assaults threaten the basic rights communities have to exercise free speech. Long-standing business models for the creation and dissemination of local news are on their last legs, undermining our access to information and democracy itself.
Through our national and state-level advocacy, original and catalytic research and resources, and engagement in communities around the country, PEN America is at the frontlines confronting urgent threats to free expression and seeking innovative ways to respond to the most pressing issues facing journalists, creative writers, visual artists, activists, and our Members.
More About Our Work
Free Speech 2020
Throughout 2020, PEN America is standing up for free speech and your right to speak out. Join us to defend press freedom, fight online harassment, combat disinformation, and uphold… More
PEN Across America
With increasing threats to press freedom, breakdowns in civil discourse, and the continued suppression of specific voices, it has become clear that PEN America has a vital role to… More
PEN America v. Trump
The suit seeks to stop President Trump from using the machinery of government to retaliate or threaten reprisals against journalists and media outlets for coverage he dislikes. More
Press Freedom Incentive Fund
The Press Freedom Incentive Fund will support new initiatives to invigorate local communities with ideas, information, questions, and discourse around press freedom defense. More
Banned Books Week 2019
We are proud to collaborate with PEN America partners nationwide in activities to celebrate Banned Books Week 2019. More
Campus Free Speech
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. More