April 13, 2016

Young Americans for Liberty launches fight for free speech across 340+ college campuses

Early screening of “Can We Take a Joke?” and activist events

ARLINGTON, Virginia—On Freedom Day, April 13, Young Americans for Liberty launches the Fight for Free Speech campaign, a national movement committed to ending unconstitutional speech codes and combating threats to Free Speech on college and university campuses, by hosting more than 340 coordinated events nationwide.

C.J. Sailor, YAL’s Director of Free Speech said of the program, “College campuses are under threat from authoritarian voices that only look to stomp out ideas and viewpoints. Our Fight for Free Speech campaign is the largest coordinated attempt to combat these threats and encourage the healthy, free flow of ideas.”

The Fight for Free Speech campaign will run from April 13th through April 20th. During that time there will be more than 340 events in all 50 states. At these events, YAL chapters will host sneak-peek screenings of Can We Take a Joke?, starring comedians Adam Carolla, Lisa Lampanelli, Gilbert Gottfried, and Penn Jillette. The film is set to release later this year. Campuses include Clemson University, University of California – Berkeley, Auburn University, Morehouse College, University of Georgia, Temple University, Ithaca College, American University, Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania, and many more.

The film gained distribution this month from Samuel Goldwyn Films, the production house behind The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and other recent hit productions. Recently news about the documentary has been featured in Reason Magazine, The Interrobang, Variety, and the Federalist. The Federalist titled their piece on the film, “Go Watch Can We Take A Joke?” and called it, “Required viewing by everyone in this country.” It premiered to a sold-out crowd in November at the IFC Center in New York and has since been featured at several film festivals including the Sun Valley Film Festival.

Along with organizing screenings of Can We Take a Joke?, YAL chapters are strategically reforming campus policies across the country to respect Free Speech rights. Dozens of reforms are occurring right now in coordination with legal groups, like the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education (FIRE). YAL was founded in 2008 by former Ron Paul Youth Coordinator Jeff Frazee. It has grown from 96 chapters in 2009 to more than 650 chapters and 257,000 activists on American universities today. Their mission is to “identify, educate, train, and mobilize youth activists committed to ‘winning on principle.’” During an election season where more young people than ever are beginning to vote, YAL hopes to educate students about the vital principles of liberty so that we can elect leaders focused on principle over popularity. YAL hopes to continue their growth and bring their message of Free Speech to more students.

YAL encourages education through its chapters and website. To start a chapter, request information kits for an event at your campus, or to learn more about YAL and its activism across the country, visit www.yaliberty.org.