Honoring America’s Brave Free Speech Heroes

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The First Amendment grants us freedom of speech and expression, but that doesn’t prevent Americans from facing free speech violations and censorship in the workplace, at school or on college campuses. Freedom of the press is also granted to us by the First Amendment, but threats to a free press still exist.

While we don’t always hear of cases involving threats to the First Amendment, Americans’ First Amendment freedoms are under assault like never before. That’s why the Hugh Hefner Foundation hosts our annual First Amendment Awards event. By raising awareness of assaults to the First Amendment and recognizing the dedication and commitment of America’s brave free speech heroes, threats to the First Amendment do not go unchallenged.

The Foundation is proud to recognize this year’s distinguished honorees who were selected from many worthy nominations. Without free speech and free press, there is no democracy. We must ensure violations to our democracy never become commonplace in our country.

The 2019 honorees are:

  • Law: Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and global Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation Group
  • Government: Dr. George Luber, Former Chief of the Climate and Health Program in the Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice at the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Book Publishing: Greg Lukianoff, President and CEO, FIRE, & Jonathan Haidt, Social Psychologist, NYU’s Stern School of Business
  • Journalism: Grace Marion, former Editor-In-Chief of her high school newspaper, The Playwickian
  • Education: Christian Bales, an openly gay and gender non-conforming student
  • Lifetime Achievement: Floyd Abrams, Senior Counsel, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP

-Christie Hefner, Founder and Chairman, The Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards

Christie Hefner is the founder and chairman of The Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards. The awards are hosted annually to recognize individuals whose efforts help protect and enhance First Amendment rights for all Americans and to raise awareness of modern-day challenges to freedom of speech and expression. Learn more about this year’s awards and honorees, here.

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