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Want to know what is on our minds? Find blog posts written here, by the City Club staff, members, and partners. Every week you can find a new edition of #FreeSpeech in the News — a collection of related stories, commentary, and opinions on free speech in the 21st century that’s making the news. You’ll also find takes on current events, past forums, and issues surrounding Northeast Ohio. Read on for all things City Club.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Free Speech Essay Contest 2018

Julia Wang, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator, The City Club of Cleveland

Free Speech Essay Contest 2018

The 2018 Hope and Stanley Adelstein Free Speech Essay Contest is here!

All NEO high school students are invited to submit an essay that discusses the role of free speech in the 21stcentury. Submissions are encouraged to use personal experience, current events, history, politics, art, and other supporting sources, as well as engage in opposing viewpoints to create a strong argument. Essays will be judged on their clarity, content, originality, and significance.

Essay submission is live beginning January 22, 2018 and are due March 26, 2018. We will select three winners from 11/12 grade and three winners from 9/10 grade, with scholarship prizes up to $1,000. Winners are also invited to read their essays at a City Club forum.

We encourage you to explore the resources below or begin your own research to become familiar with the prompt. Good luck!

Free Speech Essay Contest Prompt 2018:

"In the past year, college campuses from Berkeley to Middlebury have seen widespread student protests against speakers brought to their respective campuses. While many contend that students are exercising their right to protest, others argue that student protests have reached the point where they now drown out the voices they disagree with. This debate is not limited to educational settings; here at the City Club, we saw community members speaking both in favor and in opposition of Corey Lewandowski speaking from our stage. With these opposing perspectives in mind, how should institutions determine to whom they provide a public platform?"

Essay Details:

  • 500-1,000 Words
  • Deadline: March 26, 2018
  • Rubric: Clarity of thought, quality of content, originality, and significance of the essay’s ideas, all demonstrating an understanding of the contest’s topic.

Submit your essay here.

For any questions or if you are interested in becoming a judge, please contact Julia Wang at

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