Five Freedoms Series: Freedom of Assembly

Freedom of Assembly with Chelsea Miller, co-founder of Freedom March NYC

How does the right to assemble work in modern-day American society? The original right to assemble for political purposes has expanded into a broad category of “expressive association.”

The Supreme Court has emphasized the importance of the right to assemble, but it has approved certain restrictions. The justices have struggled with how to balance the right to assemble against other rights and the needs of the public. 

Chelsea Miller, Co-Founder of Freedom March NYC, led this presentation and interactive discussion.

This Zoom / Facebook Live was recorded on October 12, 2021, with Montpelier. Q&A with Participants included at the end.

A Columbia University graduate, Chelsea Miller is a 24-year-old Brooklyn native and one of the leading voices in youth activism. Chelsea is the Co-Founder of Freedom March NYC, a youth protest and policy group on the frontlines pushing for reform across the nation. She’s addressed thousands of people in speaking engagements that include Madison Square Garden, Yale University, and most recently the March on Washington. Her work has been featured in New York Mag, Forbes, Vogue, CNN, and BET. In 2016, she worked in the Obama White House as one of the youngest interns on criminal justice reform and urban economic opportunity. 

She is the Co-Founder & CEO of Women Everywhere Believe, Inc., a national organization training women and girls of color to be civic and corporate leaders. Her work has been recognized by elected officials and national organizations alike in the space of activism and social entrepreneurship. Chelsea was recently named by the City & State of New York as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Brooklyn, recognized by Vogue Magazine as one of the 50 trailblazing activists from across the globe, Financial Times named her as one of the leading Women of 2020, and Columbia University recognized her as one of 8 Columbians you should know. Most recently, Chelsea launched a campaign in partnership with Versace focused on women’s leadership and was featured in BET’s docuseries Boiling Point drawing the connection between the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the current youth-led movement today.

The First Amendment provides many of the rights Americans hold most dear: freedom of religion, speech, the press, petition, and assembly. These freedoms form the basis of political and civic participation in American society. 

The Five Freedoms Series will help Americans better understand the freedoms guaranteed to them under the First Amendment, and encourage them to exercise these rights. Each week will focus on a different element of The 1st Amendment: speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government. Because many of these freedoms are frequently at the heart of Supreme Court cases, the sixth week will allow us to bring together a panel of federal judges to discuss cases on the docket in the 2021-2022 Supreme Court Term. 

This series is proudly hosted by the First Amendment Museum, James Madison’s Montpelier, and The Center for Civic Education.