An illustration of diverse group of 4 students facing the same direction with one student speaking

SPEAK! Activist Network

A leadership program for student activists fighting for the freedom to read

“In 2021, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services, affecting 1,597 books.”

American Library Association

Four Novelly youth advocates on a video call

About the SPEAK! Activist Network

With book bans and challenges on the rise, students across the country are exercising their right to read. As part of the SPEAK! Activist Network, students support one another as they immerse themselves in the freedom to read movement and fight to diversify bookshelves in their communities.

How do I join the SPEAK! Activist Network?


Submit Your Application

To join the SPEAK! Activist Network, students must complete a 2 semester program which includes online coursework, monthly meetings, and planning and executing an activist campaign in their community.

Program Requirements
2 semesters
Time Commitment: 
1-3 hrs/week
Attend monthly
cohort meetings
Apply to Join the Network

Complete Part 1 & Part 2

In Part 1 of the program, SPEAK! Activists will immerse themselves in the Freedom to Read movement by completing coursework on the following topics:

(1) Book Bans vs. The Classroom Canon
(2) Meet the Resistance
(3) Understand the Opposition
(4) Student Bill of Rights
(5) Creating an Activist Campaign

In Part 2 of the program, SPEAK! Activists will apply what they've learned in Part 1 and executive their Freedom to Read campaign.

What exactly will I do during Part 2 of the program?
Assemble your team
of supporters
Conduct community
research & interviews
Design & execute your
Freedom to Read campaign

Apply for an Award

AMPLIFY is Novelly's summer event celebrating Novelly students at the end of the school year. The SPEAK! Awards will recognize students who are part of the SPEAK! Activist Network and who have led exemplary Freedom to Read campaigns throughout the year.

Deadline : June 1, 2023
Stay Tuned to Apply for a SPEAK! Award

Not ready to apply just yet?

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