The ACLU was founded by Roger Baldwin, Crystal Eastman, Albert DeSilver and others in 1920. We are nonprofit and nonpartisan and have grown from a roomful of civil liberties activists to an organization of more than 500,000 members and supporters. The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees: First Amendment rights, equal protection under the law, right to due process, right to privacy. We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled. The ACLU is supported by annual dues and contributions from its members, plus grants from private foundations and individuals; we do not receive any government funding.
Why should you advocate for libraries? Because you care about free access to information: No one should be denied information because he or she cannot afford the cost of a book, a periodical, a Web site or access to information in any of its various formats. You care about libraries because they are great democratic institutions that serve people of every age, income level, location, ethnicity, or physical ability, and provide the full range of information resources needed to live, learn, govern, and work. Because libraries bring free access to all, they also bring opportunity to all. Because you care about intellectual freedom: A democracy presupposes an informed citizenry. The First Amendment mandates the right of all persons to free expression, and the corollary right to receive the constitutionally protected expression of others. The publicly supported library provides free and equal access to information for all people of the community it serves. We enjoy this basic right in our democratic society. It is a core value of the library profession.
From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990 — well before the Internet was on most people's radar — and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.
At the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), we believe in the power of the internet. Whether it's facilitating entrepreneurial endeavors, providing access to new markets and opportunities, or creating a platform for free speech, the internet empowers, emboldens and equalizes people around the world. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we work to preserve the user-controlled nature of the internet and champion freedom of expression. We support laws, corporate policies, and technology tools that protect the privacy of internet users, and advocate for stronger legal controls on government surveillance. Headquartered in Washington, with an international presence in London and Brussels, CDT works inclusively across sectors and the political spectrum to find tangible solutions to today's most pressing internet policy challenges.
The Freedom Forum, based in Washington, D.C., is a nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy, and is the principal funder of the Newseum and Newseum Institute. The Freedom Forum was established July 4, 1991, under the direction of founder Al Neuharth as successor to a foundation started in 1935 by newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett. The Freedom Forum is not affiliated with Gannett Co. Its work is supported by income from an endowment of diversified assets. The Newseum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Newseum, including the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center and the Newseum’s Education department.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression is a unique organization, devoted solely to the defense of free expression in all its forms. While its charge is sharply focused, the Center’s mission is broad. Since its founding in 1990, the Center has fulfilled its mission through a wide range of programs in education and the arts, and active participation in judicial and legislative matters involving free expression. Each year on or near April 13 (the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson) the Center focuses national attention on especially egregious or ridiculous affronts to free expression by awarding Jefferson Muzzles to responsible individuals or organizations. The Center also recognizes those who have shown extraordinary devotion to the principles of free expression through its William J. Brennan, Jr., Award. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Center enjoys close ties to the University of Virginia, but is an autonomous, not-for-profit entity. The Board’s members reflect a broad spectrum of views, yet share a commitment to protecting the right of others to express views different from their own. Indeed, recognizing that threats to free expression come from all parts of the political spectrum, the Center maintains a nonpartisan stance in all that it does.
Oyez (pronounced oh-yay), a free law project from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Chicago-Kent College of Law and Justia.com, is a multimedia archive devoted to making the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone. It is a complete and authoritative source for all of the Court’s audio since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. Oyez offers transcript-synchronized and searchable audio, plain-English case summaries, illustrated decision information, and full text Supreme Court opinions. Oyez also provides detailed information on every justice throughout the Court’s history and offers a panoramic tour of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of several justices.