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UD hosted Free Speech Week 2021 on Oct. 18 to 21.
How many freedoms does the First Amendment protect? According to a 2019 national survey by the Freedom Forum, nearly 30 percent of respondents couldn’t recall a single First Amendment right. The University of Delaware offered Delawareans a chance to improve their civic literacy skills at Free Speech Week 2021 on Oct. 18 to 21.
“We want everyone to develop a broader understanding about freedom of expression and speech, and to learn how to engage in thoughtful civil discourse,” said event organizer Lindsay Hoffman, Ph.D., an associate professor of communication and political science at UD. In addition to hosting the Free Speech Week series, Hoffman also directs the National Agenda speaker series. The free online series was presented by UD's Center for Political Communication and Department of Communication.
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Niko Perez of PEN America joined the University of Delaware's Free Speech Week 2021 on Oct. 18.
The University of Delaware welcomed Niko Perez, manager of free expression and education at PEN America, on Oct. 18. Perez advances PEN America’s efforts to catalyze a more informed, civic culture through free expression education for the rising generation and the general public. He supports advocacy, analysis, and outreach in the national debate around free speech and inclusion in higher education. Perez co-directs the Free Speech Advocacy Institute and hosts Free Speech Live!, a biweekly series of youth-oriented discussions focusing on contemporary issues related to free speech, open exchange, human rights, and democracy. Perez previously worked for the Columbia University Human Rights Advocates Program and consulted for the Human Rights Education and Training section at the United Nations. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia University in human rights and humanitarian policy and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in international politics.
Human rights attorney Hadar Harris joined UD's Free Speech Week 2021 on Oct. 19.
On Oct. 19, UD welcomed Hadar Harris, a human rights attorney and the executive director of Student Press Law Center since 2017. The nonprofit leader is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of student journalists. She previously served as the executive director of the Northern California Innocence Project. For 13 years, Harris was executive director of the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law. Earlier in her career, Harris served as executive director of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, a bipartisan legislative service organization of the US House of Representatives, under the leadership of the late Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA). Following her graduation from law school, she worked in private practice at the law firm Littler Mendelson. Harris holds a BA in Political Science from Brown University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Legal scholar Ilana Redstone, Ph.D., joined UD's Free Speech Week on Oct. 21.
Legal scholar Ilana Redstone, Ph.D., joined the series on Oct. 21. In Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education (Oxford University Press), Redstone and co-author John Villasenor analyze the current state of discourse in academia and beyond. Redstone and Villasenor explain that nearly all the challenges they identify can be traced to a particular way of seeing the world that dominates in American higher education. Redstone is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She obtained her Ph.D. in demography and sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been at the University of Illinois since 2005. Professor Redstone's research focuses on campus climate and communication across ideological divides, with interests in viewpoint diversity, demography, immigration, and education.