The First Amendment Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, seeks to preserve and protect First Amendment freedoms through information and education. It provides a forum for dialogue on a range of issues, including the textual freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition.
The center was founded in December 1991 by John Seigenthaler Sr., a journalist and former Justice Department official under President John F. Kennedy and a longtime advocate of First Amendment rights. In founding the center, Seigenthaler sought to promote appreciation and understanding of the values that are vital to a democratic society. The center is now part of the Newseum Institute, a nonprofit educational arm of the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
The First Amendment Center does not provide legal representation, fund litigation, file amicus briefs, or engage in lobbying. However, it does provide expert testimony to members of Congress and other government officials, and center staff participate in nonpartisan educational events about the First Amendment. Since 1997, the center has released an annual State of the First Amendment survey to examine public attitudes toward the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, religion, and petition.
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