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U-M to host series of events on free speech and inclusion

By Mike Morland

Several events on the topics of speech and inclusion will take place on campus throughout the winter 2018 semester.

In support of the University of Michigan’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, several events on the topics of speech and inclusion will take place on campus throughout the winter 2018 semester as part of the series, “Speech and Inclusion: Recognizing Conflict and Building Tools for Engagement.”

As the discussion of free speech regulations and requirements have sparked dialogue across colleges and universities throughout the United States, many of these institutions now face the challenge of harmonizing free speech rights with inclusive campus climates.

The Speech and Inclusion series aims to engage differing views on this topic, employ productive conversations that promote a positive campus environment, and explore how varying perspectives impact politics, culture, higher education, sports and journalism.

As an institution driven by the American values of free speech and inclusion, the University of Michigan is driven to assist the campus community in developing a deeper understanding of these complicated challenges in the 21st century.

This collaborative series is supported by the Office of the President, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, National Center for Institutional Diversity, Academic Innovation, Student Life, Alumni Association and Wallace House.

For more details, continue to visit for additional information and event updates.


TEACH-OUT: Speech and Inclusion on College Campuses
February 2018
Free speech on college campuses has gained national attention because of the varying views held by individuals to protect or ban speech that is offensive, discriminatory, and hateful, and which has implications for an inclusive learning environment. This Teach-Out will examine the history and evolution in understanding first amendment rights on college campuses. For updates, visit:

Speak Freely: Debating the First Amendment in a Changing America
February 15, 2018, Rackham Auditorium, 6-7:30 p.m.
Participate in a live event with NPR’s daily news program, “1A with Joshua Johnson.”

Free Speech and the Necessity of Discomfort
February 20, Mendelssohn Theater, 5:30 p.m.
Discussion with Bret Stephens, columnist for The New York Times and Livingston Awards judge.

TEACH-IN: Speech and Inclusion at the University of Michigan
March 2018
This Teach-In will engage students, staff and faculty in topics specific to speech and inclusion at the U-M campus. Sessions will allow for opportunities to connect across generations, political views, and other social identity groups.

TEACH-OUT: Freedom of the Press: What’s at stake?
March 12, 2018
A free press is essential for a healthy, vibrant, democratic society. Yet public trust in journalism has hit historic lows in recent years and journalists are being openly maligned for doing their jobs. This Teach-Out will prompt participants to think critically about the roles and responsibilities of journalists in a free society. Why is the concept of a free press written into the First Amendment? How are the rights of journalists currently being threatened? Is this moment in history unique? How have disruptions of longstanding journalism models made the press more vulnerable? And, most importantly, what are the broader societal implications of a restricted and diminished press environment? For updates, visit

TEACH-OUT:  Speech and Inclusion in Sports
April 2018
This Teach-Out will examine the history and evolution in understanding the first amendment rights as they relate to sports. For updates, visit

Campus Inclusion and Free Expression:  A Conversation with Higher Education Leaders
April 10, 2018, Palmer Commons, Great Lakes Room, 5 p.m.
This discussion will feature higher education leaders and others who have a stake in securing a path forward that honors free expression and inclusive campus communities. This conversation will focus on the challenges facing institutional leaders and how they have addressed the complexities of campus inclusion and freedom of expression.

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