We look forward to a world founded upon
FOUR ESSENTIAL
human freedoms.
ACLU 4 Freedoms
We look forward to a world founded upon FOUR ESSENTIAL human freedoms.

Protecting
our freedoms

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

With more than 4 million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., to safeguard everyone’s rights.

Donate Today

The ACLU would not be what it is without your support. Help us fight for liberty. Take your stand—every donation counts.

The ACLU has partnered in a campaign with artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, to create modern renditions of Norman Rockwell's The Four Freedoms. The original series of painting depcist four basic freedoms, as outlined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's January 1941 State of the Union address. These are four rights that the President believed every human should enjoy.

These, and more, are some of the freedoms the ACLU fights to protect.

The Four Freedoms

ACLU

Freedom of
speech

"The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world."

Freedom of Speech depicts a scene of a local town meeting in which Jim Edgerton, the lone dissenter to the town selectmen's announced plans to build a new school, was accorded the floor as a matter of protocol. He is shown "standing tall, his mouth open, his shining eyes transfixed, he speaks his mind, untrammeled and unafraid."

One of the core beliefs of the ACLU is that every American, and every human, should have the freedom to express themselves. Freedom of speech is one of the values that we continue to fight for, working tirelessly in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the Constitution’s promise of liberty for everyone in our country.

ACLU

Freedom of
worship

"The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world."

The painting shows the profiles of eight heads in a modest space. The various figures represent people of different faiths in a moment of prayer. In 1966, Rockwell used Freedom of Worship to show his admiration for John F. Kennedy in a Look story illustration entitled JFK's Bold Legacy. The work depicts Kennedy in profile in a composition similar to Freedom of Worship along with Peace Corps volunteers. This modern interpretation depicts some of the religions that are observed by American families, including Judaism, Islam, and Native religions.

The ACLU fights to preserve this freedom, working for an America where no citizen is ever afraid to open express their faith and devotion.

ACLU

Freedom from
want

"The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world."

The painting shows an aproned matriarch presenting a roasted turkey to a family of several generations, in Rockwell's idealistic presentation of family values. The reimagining created for this project shows a family of mixed races and backgrounds, symbolizing the modern American family.

The ACLU believes that everyone has a right to pursue their dreams, and to achieve better. No human should be left wanting for their basic needs.

ACLU

Freedom from
fear

"The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world."

The painting shows children resting safely in their beds, oblivious to the perils of this world, as their parents look on. Their mother tucks them in while their father holds a newspaper describing the horrors of the ongoing conflict. However, his attention is fully on his children and not on the alarming headlines. This reimagining shows two twin boys, safe under the care of their fathers.

This represents the ACLU's belief that everyone should be safe from the threat of terror, and that a safe place to live and asylum in time of need are basic human rights.

How does the ACLU help?

ACLU rally for immigration rights

With more than 4 million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., to safeguard everyone’s rights.

We have grown from a roomful of civil libertarians to more than 1 million members, activists, and supporters across the country. The ACLU is now a nationwide organization with a 50-state network of staffed affiliate offices filing cases in both state and federal courts. We appear before the Supreme Court more than any other organization except the Department of Justice.

In addition, we work to change policy as well as hearts and minds. Our Washington Legislative Office lobbies Congress to pass bills that advance or defend civil liberties and defeat those that do not, our affiliates work in state houses across the country to do the same, and we use strategic communications to engage supporters on the most pressing civil liberties issues of our time. The defense of America’s core liberties cannot rely on the courts alone. Politics and public opinion matter too.

The ACLU is nonprofit and nonpartisan. We do not receive any government funding. Member dues as well as contributions and grants from private foundations and individuals pay for the work we do.