The Nicholson School of Communication and Media was proud to host Free Speech Week from October 17th-20th. This celebration of the First Amendment was highlighted by four events, each one exploring how important free speech is as a human right and how it was, and still is, fought for around the world.
The Free Speech Expert Panel consisted of Jamie Holmes, Nancy Alvarez, Dr. Nan Yu and Dr. Luis Martinez-Fernandez and was hosted by Katie Coronado. Panelists were asked about their experience with and views on free speech from the fields of journalism and education. Once they were finished with the questions from the host, students and other audience members were able to ask questions of their own, fueling a lively discussion.
In an interview, I got to sit down with some members of the panel experts and asked them why we should care about free speech and what drives them to promote freedom of speech.
Question: Why should we care about freedom of speech?
The UCF Speech and Debate team also presented an exhibition. The team used their voices to advocate for change in the world and had a free speech themed debate. Jonathan Conway, Associate Instructor and Director of Forensics explains that the topic of the debate was about if granting law enforcement unfettered access to social media (an infringement on free speech) did more harm than good. The debaters considered the values of safety to the public over the need for privacy and personal security.
The final event to close out the weeklong event was the Braver Angels Keynote event. Braver Angels is an organization that is devoted to bridging the partisan divide in the United States through dialogue. Randy Lioz and John Wood, Jr. of Braver Angels joined to talk about the crucial need for dialogue and understanding when discussing matters of politics. Each of the speakers came from a different side of the political aisle but were united in their mission to see debates and discussions in politics be more productive and levelheaded than we’ve seen in political discourse these past couple years. The event engaged the audience members and ended with an example discussion between the two speakers about recent Florida legislation.
The Nicholson School of Communication and Media was proud to host Free Speech Week this year and are looking forward to doing so next year! We are also honored to have our esteemed guests who have freely discussed and expressed their ideas and opinions on freedom of speech. All are encouraged to come and participate for next year’s event!
By Majdulina Hamed.
Published to Nicholson News on November 1st, 2022.
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