First Amendment Voice

#FindYourVoice

aka First Amendment Voice   |   Oakton, VA   |  https://firstamendmentvoice.org/

Mission

Reinvigorate citizens to claim, protect and exercise the rights espoused in the 1st Amendment throughout U.S. society through a collaborative campaign of education and advocacy.

Ruling year info

2019

Executive Director

Steven Miska

Main address

P.O. Box 624

Oakton, VA 22124 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

82-4717432

NTEE code info

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (A01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Fear and apathy have pushed many Americans out of the public square. Some fear retribution should they voice their opinion. Others feel nobody would listen anyway, so why bother? FAV finds both trends dangerous to democratic governance, which depends upon active and educated citizens. Hyper-partisanship and polarization have exacerbated theses trends, fueled by partisan ideologues and media personalities who profit from fear-mongering and divisiveness. Misinformation and disinformation in the media and elsewhere add to the confusion, causing many Americans to lose trust in institutions like the media, faith communities, and government organizations.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

National Symposium

National nonpartisan convening of leaders who advocate on behalf of freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. The philosophy includes education on first amendment trends, providing tools for engagement in the public square, and inspiration to engage on important issues in participant communities.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Veterans

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

FAV seeks to establish a network of Americans who are educated and inspired to use their individual voices and have productive, inclusive communication on difficult topics to find common ground and collaborate to protect First Amendment freedoms. FAV is a community supporting every Americans’ 1st Amendment rights. We believe we are better when connected while our differences make us stronger. Winning entails waking Americans up to the real threats of a loss of civic education, the dangers of polarization, and the need to have an active citizenry that holds elected leaders accountable.

1) Educate – On the importance and approach to conduct productive discussion leading to more inclusion and less division. The First Amendment exhibits complex ideas, with five essential freedoms bound up in 45 words. Freedoms of religion, speech, the press, assembly, and petition can sometimes be in conflict with each other, depending on the topic. FAV offers accessible programming for people at all levels of civic education to engage on their most passionate issues.
2) Advocate – Support individual rights while remaining non-partisan, welcoming all points of view. Since we avoid taking sides on any particular issue, we maintain a neutral stance. With the exception of advocating on behalf of the five essential freedoms embodied in the First Amendment, FAV does not take a position on issues.
3) Facilitate – Difficult discussions for all individuals by providing forums for all people to use their voice. Because we are able to maintain a nonpartisan organizational bearing, people across ideologies trust that we will respect their different viewpoints. As a result, FAV convenes extremely diverse audiences, across generations, ideologies, ethnicities, faiths and gender. Each program bears this characteristic.
4) Make the most of scarce resources – Be responsible stewards of donations and grants; box above our weight while leveraging BOD, Advisor’s, Member’s and Donor’s networks. FAV engages with other nonprofits to collaborate within the public square while adhering to strict standards of transparency and stewardship.

Leadership – board and executive leadership with decades of experience across numerous domains, including the law, military, academia, faith communities, and nonprofits. For example, one board member has litigated cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Another has served in the White House, on active duty for 25 years, in academia at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and has over a decade of experience with nonprofits. All leaders have strong connections in different faith communities. The leadership diversity also reflects the audience diversity that FAV is able to convene.
Networks – broad and diverse national networks of individuals and organizations that span First Amendment principles including religious freedom, free speech, the media, assembly and petition. FAV networks span ethnicities, academic environments, international environments, government, the private sector, including different legal domains.
Communications – consistent digital platforms and in-person forums that convene diverse audiences around topics to educate, engage and inspire active citizenry. FAV produces three blogs every month on contemporary topics relevant to the First Amendment.
Diversity – leadership and audience diversity remain core competencies spanning ideology, faith, gender, ethnicity, and generations. Even when a relatively homogenous partner or sponsor like a church hosts a FAV event, we seek to broaden the audience beyond base membership and incorporate outside viewpoints, cross-generational perspectives, and multi-faith approaches. FAV programing applies in secular as well as faith settings.

National Symposiums – FAV has hosted three National Symposiums in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center and one Symposium in Washington, D.C. at the National Union Building. These forums have provided annual benchmarks to determine the vibrancy of programming and the movement, an opportunity to assemble high profile speakers on relevant topics in the first amendment space, and a chance for delegates across the country to network.
Coffee Talks programs – FAV has conducted coffee talks across the country from California to Virginia and Georgia. Topics include an overview of FAV, media bias, and a new digital detox for 2020. Due to the coronavirus, FAV has converted the program to virtual format to continue engaging audiences amid social distancing restrictions.
Difficult Conversation workshops – FAV has cohosted Kern Beare’s workshop in LA, San Diego, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. These are half-day programs that leave audiences wanting more content and wanting to engage more with FAV.
Communications – our website continues to evolve with each new blog and other updates. We have numerous social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. We post routinely to FB, TW and LI to maintain audience engagement with some annual contests to Instagram to generate awareness and infuse art into FAV programming.
Leadership – following IRS certification as a 501c3 in 2019, FAV doubled the Board of Directors, bringing on a Treasurer with decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, a lawyer who has litigated First Amendment issues before the Supreme Court of the United States, and another lawyer deeply versed in faith communities. FAV leadership also reflects the diversity of its audiences, spanning generations, faiths, gender, and professions.
FAV2025 – the FAV board of Directors recently completed a five year plan (FAV2025) and began implementation including rapidly achieving Guidestar levels of transparency. A consultant who leads strategic growth efforts in the private sector provided pro bono facilitation of FAV2025.
Growth metrics – all growth metrics continue to show solid improvement, especially during in person or live virtual programming.

Financials

First Amendment Voice
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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First Amendment Voice

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Steven Miska

First Amendment Voice

Term: 2019 - 2022

Stan Ellis

Treasurer/FAV

Paul Murray

Secretary/FAV

Chelsea Langston Bombino

Center for Public Justice

Alan Inman

Global Peace Foundation

Larry Rosenberg

Jones Day