Global Press Freedom Advocacy Institute - Spring 2023 Hero Image


Tuesdays, April 4 – 25, 2023

4:00pm – 5:45pm PDT / 5:00pm – 6:45pm MDT
6:00 pm – 7:45pm CDT / 7:00 pm – 8:45pm EDT


As part of the 2023 World Press Freedom Day global advocacy campaign, PEN America and the Student Press Law Center will be hosting the return of our Global Press Freedom Advocacy Institute over the course of four online weekly evening workshops. Inspired by the internationally-recognized day established in 1993 by the United Nations, our program is designed to celebrate the work of student journalists at home and abroad, equipping them with the essential knowledge and tools to fight for the fundamental human right to information. This one-of-a-kind certification program will draw upon experts and advocates from across both organizations’ networks to bring students together for captivating panels, workshops, and group discussions to support student press freedom advocacy at the local, national, and global levels.

This program is FREE and available to all current and aspiring student journalists in high school and college. The deadline to apply for this program is Thursday, March 23, 2023. Admissions decisions will be decided on a rolling basis. If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected].




Join our 4-part program for current and aspiring student journalists on:


  • Press Freedom Globally and What it Means for Student Journalists
  • Access to Information in the US and Around the World
  • Key Press Freedom Principles: Independence, Impartiality, and Integrity
  • Cultural and Generational Perspectives on Journalistic Ethics




Practice your journalism skills with original writing opportunities:


Throughout the program, participants will be able to contribute original writing on domestic or international press freedom issues to be shared on PEN America and the SPLC websites and social media, and potentially other outlets around World Press Freedom Day on May 3.



Be a part of UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day:


Students will also be notified of special opportunities to participate virtually or during the week-long World Press Freedom Day conference being hosted by UNESCO at the United Nations in New York City. In-person travel to attend the conference in person is not provided by the Global Press Freedom Advocacy Institute.




Featured Guest Speakers




CEO, Paperpaper




Hadar Harris headshot

Founder and Principal,
Rights and Justice Consulting Group


Steven A.


Steven A. Holmes Headshot

Executive Director, CNN’s Office of Standards and Practices




Writers at Risk Database

Reuters Journalist, Children’s Author, and 2018 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award Recipient





Andrea Valdez headshot

Managing Editor, The Atlantic


More speakers to be announced soon!



PEN America Speakers and Staff




Jeje Mohamed headshot

Senior Manager, Free Expression and Digital Safety





headshot of Nicholas Perez

Program Manager, Free Expression and Education





Peris Tushabe headshot

Program Assistant, Free Expression and Education


Student Press Law Center Speakers and Staff




Pratika Katiyar Headshot

Student Member, Board of Directors





Josh Moore headshot

Acting Executive Director


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to register?
The program is open to students in any year of high school or college.

Who should consider applying?
This Institute is ideal for current and aspiring student journalists interested in global press freedom issues. This Institute is also highly recommended for students pursuing academic and professional careers in activism, communications, humanities, international relations, and philosophy among other related subjects.

Do I have to attend all four sessions?
Students may attend however many of the four sessions they would like to, however, full attendance, participation, and project completion are required to receive a completion certificate. No matter how many sessions a student plans on attending, registration is required by submitting an application to participate.

Do I have to be in the United States to participate?
No. Although being hosted in time zones that most accommodate students in the Americas, the Institute is accessible to students anywhere in the world via Zoom and will be taught in English. 

How will I know if I’ve been admitted?
Once you submit your application for admission, you will receive an email confirmation with a copy of your form responses. On a rolling basis, we will reach out to admitted applicants with the next steps for enrolment.

How much does the program cost?
There is no cost to attend this program, however, full attendance is required to receive a certificate at the end of the course.

Will I receive any school credit for the Institute?
Neither high school nor college credit will be granted for completing the Institute unless otherwise determined by a sponsoring institution. PEN America and the Student Press Law Center will, however, award each student a Certificate of Professional Achievement in Global Press Freedom Advocacy upon completion of the course and the program offers excellent preparation and a relevant credential for future internships and work opportunities in the policy and advocacy realm. 

Will there be any homework assigned?
Background readings may be assigned that students are expected to complete before the start of each session. Throughout the program, students may be expected to work outside of instructional hours on writing projects.

What supplies do I need to attend the Institute?
To participate in the Institute, students must have a working computer, a reliable internet connection, an email address for communication, and a Zoom account, which can be set up for free online. A notebook to write in as well as some writing utensils are also recommended for note-taking, and a printer is optional for printing out the reading materials for annotating.

Who are the instructors?
The Institute administration is managed by Nicholas “Niko” Perez and Peris Tushabe from PEN America’s Free Expression and Education program. The weekly schedule includes presentations and workshops from a range of experts and professionals across both PEN America and the Student Press Law Center, including well-known journalists and advocates.


If you have any other questions, please email us at [email protected]