About the Freedom Forum Institute

The Freedom Forum’s mission is to foster First Amendment freedoms for all. It works to raise awareness of First Amendment freedoms through education, advocacy and action, sharing the stories of Americans who have exercised their rights to ignite change.

Established July 4, 1991, by founder Al Neuharth, the Freedom Forum is the principal funder of the Newseum and the Freedom Forum Institute and sponsors work to educate the public about the importance of the First Amendment. It also supports newsroom diversity and excellence in journalism, with programs including the Power Shift Project, the annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference, the Chips Quinn Scholars and the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media.

For 22 years, the Freedom Forum educated people about the five freedoms of the First Amendment and the importance of a free and fair press through an innovative interactive museum called the Newseum. The brainchild of Freedom Forum and USA TODAY founder Al Neuharth, visitors experienced the story of news, the role of a free press in major events in history, and how the core freedoms of the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — apply to their lives. After 11 years and 11 million visitors, the Newseum closed its doors on Pennsylvania Avenue on Dec. 31, 2019.

The Freedom Forum Institute includes the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, the Newseum’s education department and diversity and inclusion programs.

The First Amendment Center conducts the Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup First Amendment Moot Court; produces the State of the First Amendment national survey and its quarterly First Amendment Report Card; works with the federal judiciary to improve the flow of news about the courts to the public; and hosts programs to help the public and the media understand one another better.

The Religious Freedom Center leads education programs and seminars on the intersection of religion and public life for teachers, civic and government leaders, lawyers and private employers.

NewseumED is a free online learning platform that reaches more than 11 million teachers and students around the world. Its unique approach to history, civics and media literacy helps students cultivate the skills needed to make informed decisions in a divided and demanding world.

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.