Mission: The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America''s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience - the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE''s core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them.
Programs: Individual Rights Defense Program
The Individual Rights Defense Program (IRDP) encompasses FIRE's work to defend liberty on behalf of students and faculty at colleges and universities across America. FIRE engages in defense campaigns at both public and private universities to defend freedom of speech and expression, religious liberty, freedom of association, freedom of conscience, and the right to due process. The program provides direct assistance to students and professors through advocacy and public exposure of institutional abuses. FIRE has gained such a formidable reputation in the eyes of university administrators that just a single letter from FIRE coupled with the threat of public exposure can lead a university to change policies and end unconstitutional practices. For the same cost as a single case handled by a law firm, FIRE can successfully defend individual rights at dozens of universities.
In defending the rights of students and professors from across the ideological spectrum, FIRE's IRDP uses the full range of FIRE's resources - legal and policy expertise, fearless advocacy, copious media contacts, and a vast network of willing attorneys - to resolve disputes, raise awareness, and help entrenched individuals protect their most fundamental rights on campus.
This foundation is one of the few that fights for the rights of students and faculty. They have proven themselves time and time again as an organization which holds themselves to a high standard, and will pursue their principles in all situations. For anyone who care about student or faculty rights or the broader issues of academic freedom, freedom of speech, religion, assembly, the press, and due process need not look any further for an organization which champions their beliefs. This group is one of precious few shining light on what is becoming an increasingly daunting tale of censorship, political correctness, and rights abuses in higher education. There are few organizations serving such a massive need with so few fellow non-profits to assist and even fewer organizations more deserving of time and support.