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Thursday 02/25

Free Speech in Everyday Life



At a time when free speech is often pitted against other progressive axioms—namely diversity, inclusion, and equality—PEN America has advocated that the drive to create a more inclusive society need not, and must not, compromise robust protections for free speech. In this session, Jonathan Friedman, Director of PEN America’s Campus Free Speech Program, will discuss the history of free speech as a progressive, democratic value, and its interlinkages with movements for social justice, as well as offer practical tips for balancing free speech and inclusion in everyday life, from classroom conversations to online interactions, to university administration. The session will have robust time for questions from the audience about free speech in America today.

Speaker: Jonathan Friedman, Director, Free Expression and Education | PEN America

Jonathan Friedman(he/him/his) is the director of free expression and education at PEN America, where he oversees PEN America’s advocacy, analysis, and outreach inthe national debate around free speech and inclusion in higher education. He served as lead author on PEN America’s 2019 report, Chasm in the Classroom: Campus Free Speech in a Divided America, and on the production of its digital Campus Free Speech Guide. Friedman holds a Ph.D. in international education from New York University, and has previously taught courses at NYU and Columbia University in comparative and international education, higher education, and social theory. His research on American and international higher education has been published in leading academic journals, and he regularly provides commentary on campus free speech issues for national news media. He has previously received awards for his teaching, research, and leadership.

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