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PEN America’s Free Expression Advocacy Institutes are signature educational and training programs designed to provide students with innovative opportunities to learn about and take action on free expression issues in the United States and worldwide.

Upcoming Programs

PEN America offers online Institute programs year-round as well as in-person Institutes during the summer. For students interested in an introduction to free expression issues, our title program—PEN America’s Free Expression Advocacy Institute—covers a wide range of topics related to the First Amendment, human rights, the internet, and journalism. PEN America also offers more advanced and specialized Institutes like our Global Free Expression Advocacy and Global Press Freedom Advocacy Institutes for students to continue their skills development in particular focus areas.

Hanging Freedom To Write Signs Photo Credit Aslan Chalom

PEN America’s Spring 2022 Free Speech Advocacy Institute

Thursdays, February 3–May 12, 2022
4:15pm–6:30pm ET

Our online signature certification program for high school and college students to learn about professional free expression advocacy. The application window for this program has closed.

Global Press Freedom Advocacy Institute

PEN America and the Student Press Law Center's Global Press Freedom Advocacy Institute

Tuesdays, April 6–May 10, 2022
6:15pm–8:30pm ET

Our debut online program with a focus on issues related to student journalism and press freedom in the United States and around the world. The application window for this program has closed.

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PEN America’s Summer 2022 Free Expression Advocacy Institute in New York City

Monday-Friday, July 11–15, 2022
9:00am–4:30pm ET

Our signature certification program for high school and college students offered in person, in a five-day, intensive program with activities and field trips.

APPLY NOW

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PEN America’s Summer 2022 Free Expression Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Monday-Friday, August 1-5, 2022
9:00am–4:30pm ET

Our signature certification program for high school and college students offered in person, in a five-day, intensive program with activities and field trips.

APPLY NOW

Past Special Guests

Solomon Collins Nkulinga

Solomon Collins Nkulinga

Together for Inclusion Program Assistant, National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU)
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Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen

Journalist, Author, and Vice President, PEN America
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David Kaye

David Kaye

Director, International Justice Clinic, UC Irvine, and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
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Mai Khoi

Mai Khoi

Vietnamese Artist and Activist
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Greg Pardlo

Greg Pardlo

Poet, Writer, and Professor
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Gisela Perez de Acha

Gisela Perez de Acha

Investigative Reporter and Digital Security Trainer, PEN America
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Ahmed Naji

Ahmed Naji

Egyptian Novelist and Journalist
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Rikki Nathanson

Rikki Nathanson

Senior Advisor, Global Trans Program, OutRight Action International
Read More

Opportunities for Institute Graduates

PEN America’s Institute graduates are invited to apply to our paid Free Expression Leadership Fellows Programs offered during the spring, summer, and fall semesters. These specialized mentorship programs are opportunities for college students to join cohorts of student leaders to catalyze and amplify PEN America’s work with young people.

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PEN America Free Expression Essay Competition

Submissions due April 15, 2022

High school and college students are invited to write essays about what the right of freedom of expression means to them. The submission deadline for this competition has passed. Please stay tuned for an announcement of our winners.

 

 

 

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PEN America’s Spring 2022 Free Expression Leadership Fellows Program

Applications Closed

Person Using Laptop Christin Hume Unsplash

PEN America’s Summer 2022 Free Expression Leadership Fellows Program

Applications Closed

Join Our Student Advocacy Community

PEN America is committed to empowering a new generation of free expression advocates and building a youth advocacy network that can work together to facilitate positive change. We regularly invite students to support and engage in our national and international advocacy efforts, and actively seek ways to amplify and encourage students’ own free expression advocacy projects.

Our Sponsors

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