Toleration & Free Speech

Toleration & Free Speech

A free press and a civil exchange of ideas are key to a tolerant society. We support research and educational programs that support these values.

The freedom to hear and be heard and a willingness to entertain ideas that challenge the status quo is essential for social progress. This is especially true on our college campuses, where engaging with a diversity of ideas stimulates critical thinking and innovation. How do we model civil discourse and enable a more tolerant society? How do we ensure press freedom as news and debate move online?  The Charles Koch Foundation supports research into these questions and others, along with educational programs and dialogue on toleration and free speech issues on campus and in the arts.

Protecting free speech and academic freedom is not a liberal or conservative issue. It's an American issue. And it's a problem we must solve together.

Sarah Ruger, Director of Free Expression

Our Giving Standards and Principles

Our giving standards and principles guide our long-standing commitment to academic independence and openness.

Faculty call the shots.

Behind each of our grants is a scholar with a vision. Their freedom to drive their research wherever it may take them is essential to the discovery that we hope results from our support.

Schools provide the academic environment.

We’re excited to support hundreds of schools ranging from small liberal arts colleges to state research universities to Ivy League schools. Each grant we make follows the school’s standard procedures when it comes to hiring, curriculum, peer review, and other policies.

Openness brings opportunities.

To help make potential grantees aware of opportunities, we share news of all our major gifts. This knowledge sharing improves collaboration, offering others the possibility to build on the work of the scholars we support.

Society benefits.

The scholars we support are tackling some of the toughest challenges of our time and preparing students for success in a dynamic future. The goal of our philanthropy is to improve society. As scholars’ discoveries guide the path forward on criminal justice reform, free expression, foreign policy, technology and innovation, economic opportunity, and other pressing challenges, society progresses.

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