Free Speech Cafes

  • Free Speech cartoon with Uncle Sam

Join us for a informal panel discussions held in cafes around campus to learn more about free speech rights and responsibilities. We are in the planning stages to host cafes for each of the topics related to free speech listed below, which will include a moderator and 2-3 panelists. Check back soon for more information or sign up for We Talk event notifications.

Free speech on campus

1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 20
Bernhard Center
Moderator: Jessica Swartz, deputy general counsel
Learn the fundamental rights and responsibilities of free speech on campus.

When and how government can restrict speech

Free speech is not unlimited. There are times the government can step in to restrict speech. When does government’s interest outweigh individual interests?

Crossing the line to true threat territory

True threats in the context of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and the cross burning cases in Virginia. What constitutes fair, consistent application of law?

Defining characteristics of hate speech

Learn about the parameters of hate speech and what is and is not protected.

Free speech in K-12

A frame of reference for college students preparing for careers in K-12 education. What is being taught about free speech today in K-12 curricula?

Money as speech

How has Citizens United changed the political fundraising landscape and what are the implications?

Accommodating safe space for exercising free speech

How do we create spaces where everyone feels safe to exercise their free speech rights without fear of retribution. Why can’t we have classes focused on a protected class (women’s studies) or race-based scholarship?

Crossroads of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion

Can a professor refuse to use a specific gender pronoun requested by a student? Would doing so impinge on their freedom of speech in class?

Free speech and social media

When can government restrict what is posted on social media?

History of free speech in the United States

A look at free speech history through the lenses of anti-immigration actions taken between WW I and II and how that translates to current times.