Free Speech in Kansas


In 1922, William Allen White published “To An Anxious Friend,” an impassioned defense of the freedom of speech. For this he won the Pulitzer Prize honoring excellence in journalism, the first Kansan to do so. To celebrate 100 years of the Pulitzer Prizes and to commemorate White’s call to protect free expression, the Kansas Humanities Council partnered with organizations across Kansas for The Pulitzer Project in Kansas: William Allen White and Freedom of Speech, a series of  events exploring issues related to the freedom of speech, the life of William Allen White, and democracy today.

Now Available: Freedom of Speech Speakers Bureau and Writing Workshops

Bring Speakers Bureau presentations and writing workshops about free speech to your community.

Three presentations and discussions explore freedom of speech:

  • “Free Speech in Times of Crisis,” presented by Stephen Wolgast, former New York Times editor who now teaches journalism at Kansas State University
  • “Make Art, Not War,” presented by Erika Nelson, creator and curator of the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum
  • “Free Speech in an Information-Overloaded World,” presented by James H. Walther who teaches library and information management at Emporia State University. 

Click here to find out how to bring these Speakers Bureau presentations to your community.

Community Writing Workshops

Kansas nonprofits can invite trained instructors to facilitate writing workshops in their communities. Just as William Allen White defended free speech, “by voice, by posted card, by letter, or by press,” participants are welcome to express themselves through essays, poems, letters to the editor, memoirs, fiction — any way they so choose. Writing workshops are available through December 2016. Click here to find out how to bring a writing workshop to your community.

About the Pulitzer Project in Kansas

The Pulitzer Project in Kansas: William Allen White and Freedom of Speech is made possible by a Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative grant. The Pulitzer Campfires Initiative is a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes. The initiative seeks to illuminate the impact of journalism and the humanities on American life today, to imagine the future, and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by the body of the Pulitzer Prize-winning work.
PulitzerCentennialLockupAbove_Black