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April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016 | News Releases on

FIRE Wins Salvatori Prize for Citizenship

Philadelphia, April 20—The Heritage Foundation, a leading national think tank, has named the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) as the recipient of its 2016 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship. FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff accepted the $25,000 prize on behalf of the organization this afternoon in an awards ceremony here at the 39th annual Resource Bank Meeting.

David Azerrad, director of Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, presented the award in recognition of what he called FIRE’s “fierce and principled dedication to defending individual rights at America’s colleges and universities.

“Last year, free speech was threatened as never before on campuses across America,” Azerrad said. “Yet, at every turn, FIRE was there, pushing back, defending free speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty and sanctity of conscience—the rights essential to individual liberty.”

In accepting the award, Lukianoff said: “On behalf of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, I am deeply honored to accept this award, and I thank the Heritage Foundation for their support. If we want freedom of speech and due process to endure, we have to fight on every possible field: in the media, in the courts, on Capitol Hill, in state governments, and in K-12.

“The challenge is daunting,” he added, “but if we go beyond preaching to the choir and find new ways of making converts to the cause of free speech and due process, we can win.”
Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Heritage’s Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus, joined Azerrad in presenting the award. “I am in awe of the amount of work that FIRE’s staff does and at their effectiveness,” he said. “As an organization, it consistently punches above its weight, and it is making a real difference in the fight for freedom on our college campuses.”

FIRE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending student and faculty rights on our nation’s college campuses. Philadelphia-based FIRE was founded in 1999 by University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and Boston civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silvergate, co-authors of the 1998 book The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses.

The prize is named for entrepreneur and philanthropist Henry Salvatori. Heritage presents the award annually to an individual or organization that is dedicated to upholding the principles of the American Founding, embodies the virtues of character and mind that animated America’s Founders and exemplifies the spirit of independence and good citizenship.

The Resource Bank Meeting is an annual gathering of more than 400 conservative academics, policy analysts and policymakers from around the world. They are meeting this week in held in Loews Philadelphia.

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