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High School Students To Become First Amendment Protectors

FLAGSTAFF, AZ – Native Public Media will launch its First Amendment Protectors (FAP) curriculum at the 9th Annual Andy Harvey Native American Broadcast and Journalism Workshop, June 17 – 21, 2019 at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

In an age where free speech is increasingly challenged, the curriculum addresses how Native youth can mobilize to protect the rights of Native citizens to tell their own stories about issues affecting Indian Country. The NPM First Amendment training targets Native youth and aims to raise awareness, educate, and cultivate First Amendment Protectors and thought-leaders about what is at stake with regards to the First Amendment, journalism, and media, and more vitally, how to protect it.

NPM staff Melissa Begay will teach a lesson each day of the workshop to introduce principles of free speech, the social and political context of the First Amendment, and ways in which First Amendment rights are challenged when vulnerable populations like Native people exercise their rights.

“I think it’s important for our youth to learn how critical the First Amendment is to defend the sustainability and sovereignty of Tribal communities. They will begin by learning how “free expression” posts on social media may pose personal and professional consequences, what hate speech is or isn’t, and other practical lessons. This is a unique opportunity for high school students,” states Begay.

Native Public Media created the FAP curriculum to assist Native youth who are on the front lines of social movements rooted in the fight for Indigenous sovereignty across the country in the arenas of social justice, climate justice, and human rights. NPM’s First Amendment program seeks to center Native youth and their experiences in the rapidly changing age of digital technology and increased global connection.

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