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Press release

WASHINGTON — NewseumED, part of the Freedom Forum Institute, has launched the Free Speech Essentials EDCollection, its newest curated set of resources for grades 7 through university.

From censorship to cyberbullying, the First Amendment and the freedoms it protects are more widely contested than ever. This collection explores 16 free speech debates ranging from the founding of our nation to recent headlines to illustrate what free speech means, how far it can go and challenges surrounding it today. The curriculum guides students to take a position, find evidence to support it and make a compelling argument to their peers. Resources are free with registration on the NewseumED website.

This collection features 127 artifacts from the Newseum and elsewhere, spanning print and photographs to web and videos. The collection’s earliest case study draws upon a well-known debate in history — the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Learners are faced with a thought-provoking question — should you vote to approve the Constitution without a formal bill of rights?

Other case studies focus on more contemporary issues, including white nationalism and social media censorship.

Today’s social and political landscape can sometimes make free speech and First Amendment controversies seem too explosive for classroom exploration. Through the creation of Free Speech Essentials, NewseumED seeks to equip students and educators alike with the tools they need to tackle these vital topics with confidence, thereby creating enriching classroom experiences. The Free Speech Essentials EDCollection was made possible with support from the Charles Koch Foundation.

NewseumED provides free, quality resources that learners of all ages need to cultivate an understanding of First Amendment freedoms and media literacy skills essential to civic life. It has a digital reach of more than 12 million teachers and students and presents free classes at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and virtually for school groups.

In addition to the 1,750-plus online primary sources, videos, lesson plans and artifacts, NewseumED has other EDCollections on the civil rights and woman suffrage movements, media literacy, civil liberties versus public safety post 9/11, and elections. Each EDCollection provides an immersive learning experience and is aligned to national standards, including Common Core, International Society for Technology in Education and National Council for the Social Studies C3 frameworks.


The Freedom Forum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. The Institute includes the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, the Newseum’s education department and diversity and inclusion programs. The Freedom Forum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota, the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University. The Freedom Forum Institute is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum.


Media Contact:                                                                                          

Sonya Gavankar                                 


[email protected]           


EDClasses & Training

  • Religious Liberty for Students

    Students will be introduced to the principles that flow from the religious liberty clauses of the First Amendment.

  • Religious Literacy for Students

    Students will be introduced to academically rigorous and constitutionally appropriate models for analyzing the role of religion in private and public life.

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