Welcome Hillary Davis!

Dear Friends, 

New Voices has been gaining ground and momentum over the past few years as state campaigns expand, new protections are adopted and more people get involved in the campaign for student press freedom. As you know, New Voices is the non-partisan, student driven, grassroots movement to secure state-based legal protections for student journalists, and shield their advisers from retaliationWe are at a turning point for many campaigns, and in order to help support and grow these efforts, I am thrilled to introduce you to Hillary Davis, who joined the SPLC team earlier this month as the new New Voices Campaign and Advocacy Organizer. 

Hillary comes to SPLC after six years working with the ACLU of Rhode Island where she supported youth advocacy (including the Rhode Island New Voices bill). Hillary hit the ground running, helping to facilitate the recent New Voices Training Institute (described further below) on only her third day. I hope you will get to know Hillary and get involved in New Voices. We're moving in new directions and looking forward to great successes in the year ahead!

Hadar Harris
Executive Director

A note from Hillary

New Voices advocates are a force to behold. Since the New Voices Training Institute (see below for more), attendees have negotiated bill language, written hundreds of postcards and letters, spoken before administrative bodies, and secured new bill sponsors.

Yet, many have mentioned feeling like their stories aren't impressive enough to change legislators' minds, and that maybe they don't know enough about their state houses to push a bill through. I know that feeling; the first time I testified before a legislative committee, my voice shook so much I am still not convinced they could understand me. A few hundred bills later, I know no story is insignificant, and no state house is as daunting as it seems.

If you're a longtime advocate or a curious newcomer, please don't hesitate to email me at to ask your questions and talk about how we can move New Voices forward in your state. I'm so excited to be here with you, and to see what 2020 has to bring.

Hillary Davis 
New Voices Advocacy and Campaign Organizer

The New Voices Training Institute

Students and advisers hailing from Hawaii to New York and many places in between convened with SPLC staff at the Bolger Center in Maryland Oct. 11-13 for an incredible weekend of intensive strategizing and community building. This pilot brought together delegates from six states to take a deep-dive into planning and organizing for the upcoming legislative season.

We're incredibly proud of the first cohort of the New Voices Training Institute. Look out Nebraska, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and elsewhere — this group is bringing the fight for student press freedom to you!

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