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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.
PEN America Youth Advocates lead vigil for Ukraine
Next Gen PEN America

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Upcoming Opportunities

News Literacy Ambassadors Institute

News Literacy Ambassadors Institute

This four-week educational and training program certifies students as disinformation defense experts while teaching how to safely and productively navigate the free expression frontiers of the news media ecosystem.
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Free Expression Advocacy Institute – Spring 2023 – Online

Free Expression Advocacy Institute – Spring 2023 – Online

PEN America’s Spring 2022 Free Expression Advocacy Institute is an intensive, online, eight-week, educational and training program where high school and college students can learn the theories, laws, histories, and methodologies behind free expression advocacy.
Learn More
Free Expression Leadership Fellows Program - Spring 2023

Free Expression Leadership Fellows Program - Spring 2023

PEN America is offering a 14-week professional Free Expression Leadership Fellows Program for undergraduate and graduate students passionate about human rights, the written word, and free expression in the United States and worldwide.
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PEN America Student Alumni LinkedIn Group

PEN America Student Alumni LinkedIn Group

This LinkedIn group is for former fellows, interns, and students of PEN America to stay in touch.
Learn More


PEN America at the Fall 2022 Augustana Symposium Day

WedOctober 122022
Free Event In Person
On 10/12, PEN America travels to Augustana College for Symposium Day to deliver Keynote and Workshop on Civil Discourse.

Let’s Say Gay! Picnic and Play

FriJune 242022
Free Event
PEN America and the Artists at Risk Connection “Let’s Say Gay! Picnic and Play” will celebrate LGBTQ+ literature and activism during Pride.

[VIRTUAL] Free Speech Live!: Art Against Oppression

WedJune 92021
With artists taking risks to counter oppression, how can young people engage in advocacy and activism to support the right to artistic freedom?
See more

Past Guest Speakers

Kirill Artemenko

CEO, Paperpaper
Nora Benavidez headshot

Nora Benavidez

Director, U.S. Free Expression Programs New York, NY

Amanda Bennett

Pulitzer Prize-winning Author and Journalist

Neijma Celestine-Donnor

Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work

Troy Closson

Metro Reporter, The New York Times

Alex Gino

Author and Activist

Hadar Harris

Executive Director, Student Press Law Center

Dr. Faizullah Jan

Journalist, Dawn Newspaper

David Kaye

Clinical Professor of Law, UC Irvine

Amna Khalid

Associate Professor in the Department of History, Carleton College
Mai Khoi headshot

Mai Khoi

Artist and Activist

Julia Rose Kraut


Susan Kuklin

Author and Photographer

Frank LoMonte

Director, Brechner Center for Freedom of Information
Writers at Risk Database

Wa Lone

Journalist, Reuters

Paul Muldoon


Fallon McClure

Georgia State Director, Spread the Vote
Ahmed Naji

Ahmed Naji


Rikki Nathanson

Senior Advisor, Global Trans Program, OutRight Action International

Solomon Collins Nkulinga

Program Assistant, Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund
Achiro Patricia Olwoch

Achiro Patricia Olwoch

Writer, playwright, and filmmaker

Gregory Pardlo

Author and Poet

Daniel Alejandro Pinilla

Journalist, Human Rights Advocates Program at Columbia

Rachel Sanchez-Keneally

Government Liaison and Program Coordinator, IOM

Emerson Sykes

Staff Attorney, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Bakary Tandia

Co-Founder, The Abolition Institute

Mary Beth Tinker

Vladimir Tlali

Director, New York State LGBT Human and Health Services Network

Laurence H. Tribe

Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School

Bukeni Waruzi

Executive Director, Free the Slaves