Five Freedoms Series: Freedom to Petition

Freedom to Petition the Government with Molly Dorozenski, Change.org

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. 

Molly Dorozenski, Managing Director of North America and Australia at Change.org, led this presentation and interactive discussion.

This Zoom / Facebook Live was recorded on October 19, 2021, with Montpelier. Q&A with Participants included at the end.

Molly Dorozenski has a BA in English from Yale University and an MFA in Creative Writing from UMASS Amherst. She works as a Managing Director of North America and Australia at Change.org, where she supports people who start petitions to make change happen. 

Some successful campaigns include a campaign for Justice for George Floyd, that broke records with 20 million signatures, a campaign that persuaded TripAdvisor to make sure travelers could see reports of sexual assault on their site, and a campaign that prevented the execution of Rodney Reed. She previously worked at Greenpeace in a variety of communications and campaigning roles, including Communications Director and Democracy Campaign Director. She lives in Brooklyn.

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.