Loading Events



Bughouse 2020 Youth Soapbox

July 22, 2020

Exercise your First Amendment rights at the first-ever virtual Bughouse Square Youth Soapbox!

This year, Bughouse Square—a historic epicenter of speechifying in Chicago—is wherever you are. Bughouse 2020, hosted by the Newberry Library will be held virtually on the afternoon of July 22. In partnership with the Newberry Library, we are hosting the Youth Soapbox.

The theme this year is VOTE.
Who gets to vote? How do we vote? Why vote?

Ground Rules

  • Participants under 25 years old.
  • Solo, pair, team, whatever. Bring it!
  • Your words or someone else’s with attribution.
  • Hate has no home here. Racist, sexist, homophobic, gender-biased, ableist, or otherwise derogatory speech that is degrading to any specific group of people will not be tolerated.

We want to hear from YOU! Those of you who are voting for the first time and those of you who aren’t of voting age but continue to fight the good fight. By the way, do you think the voting age is bogus? Tell us about it! No longer constrained by geography, we invite youth speakers from all over the world to join us in celebrating free speech! Share a poem, a speech, a song, a video, a proposal for policy change, or a mural on your bedroom wall. The possibilities are endless!

Join us and the Newberry Library for Chicago’s favorite free speech event! Get on your virtual soapbox.

Learn more about the history of Bughouse Square.

Check out the highlights from 2018’s Youth Soapbox.

Submit your Soapbox Idea!

  • If you're rep'ing a school or organization, let us know who.
  • Some school-issued email accounts won't allow us to email you. If that's the case, please be sure to use one we can.
    By submitting my request to make a speech or submit a pre-recorded video, I acknowledge that my participation will be part of an online forum, streamed via Zoom, Facebook, and Instagram by the Newberry, and visible to the general public. If I am not 18, my parent or guardian approves of my participation. The Newberry will not be recording or archiving the Soapbox segment of the program.
  • optional
  • optional
  • optional