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Free Expression in a Free Society
DSCN0386.jpgOur American democracy depends on the rights of free expression of speech, the press, assembly, and petition. To celebrate and educate about these vital rights, Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) proudly presents its annual academic competition, Free Expression in a Free Society. Students are invited to develop video entries that explore incidents and events relating to freedom of expression and the First Amendment. Students will research and develop entries that explore the right to free expression and civil liberties in the United States and around the world. People throughout time have so valued the right and ability to express one's thoughts and opinions without fear of governmental censorship or retribution that they were willing to sacrifice their lives for it. Even today, there are people who persist in this struggle in places where challenges to limit this right have been raised--some successful, some rebuked. But even the ability to raise the challenge is born of the right to free expression.

Free Expression in a Free Society provides an educational opportunity for students to research, analyze and draw conclusions about incidents and events relating to freedom and the Bill of Rights. Topic selection is not limited to those regarding the United States or the First Amendment, but can be about any issue relating to the theme as applicable to any nation, people, or group in the world. Topics may address either historical or current events, and may even endeaver to provide educated speculation regarding future impact. It also allows students to utilize their creativity by developing a video presentation through the use of audio-visual, computer, and multi-media technology to present their findings and conclusion.  

Students who wish to enter the Free Expression in a Free Society Competition can do so as individuals or in groups of 2-5 students in either the Junior Division (grades 6-8) or the Senior Division (grades 9-12). Students must submit their entries in VHS video or DVD format to CRF no later than June 17, 2011. Along with the video entry, students must include a summary description of their topic. (See Official Competition Guidelines (PDF) for complete rules and details).  

The entries in the Free Expression in a Free Society competition will be screened and winners selected by a panel of distinguished members of the entertainment industry. The winner will be invited to attend a screening and dinner with an invited audience including the Board of Directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation.  

Entry Form , Video Entry, and Process Paper Due
June 17, 2011

Finalist Notified By
August 2011

Final Screening

June 2009

There is no entry fee to enter the contest.

Rewards for Participation:
The skills and new knowledge that students acquire are the most important rewards. All participants receive a participation certificate. In each division, winners of the Free Expression in a Free Society will receive cash awards:

  • $500 first place
  • $250 second place
  • $100 third place

For complete rules and procedures refer to the Official Competition Guidelines (PDF).

Free Expression in a Free Society
Constitutional Rights Foundation
601 S. Kingsley Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90005