Free Speech, Race and Student Protests

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This session will address recent student protests on campuses, looking at questions such as: What are the demands? What are the proposed solutions? How have colleges responded? How has the framing of the debate influenced public opinion?

We will analyze the critiques against those protests, which have attempted to delegitimize student arguments. Those critics frame the legitimate concerns as being overly sensitive and the work of “spoiled” youth, a simple dichotomy of political correctness versus freedom of speech.

We will ask: who gets to police the terms of civil discourse? What responsibilities do students, faculty, and administrators have in ensuring that members of the community feel safe, welcome, and free to express themselves?

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