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HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship

March 19, 2019
Mountainlair Ballrooms
7:30 p.m.

Given the hyper-partisanship and deep divisions that have frayed our society, we constantly hear charges and counter-charges of “hate speech” hurled against countless communications,  including statements about vital issues, ranging from “Black Lives Matter” to “All Lives Matter.”  Since speech is powerful, and can cause great harm to individuals and society, why do all Supreme Court Justices protect freedom “even for the thought that we hate”?  Why does Nadine Strossen, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, support freedom even for neo-Nazi ideas?  Why do advocates of racial justice and human rights – not only in the US, but also around the world – maintain that censoring “hate speech” would actually do more harm than good in promoting the essential goals of equality, dignity, diversity, inclusivity, and societal harmony?  How can we nurture a campus culture that welcomes not only all people, but also all ideas?  

Nadine Strossen expertly dissects Constitutional law to share current challenges to our civil liberties today, stimulating thoughtful consideration of democratic ideals. 

With her expert knowledge of the Constitution, Strossen is a unique and valuable resource for understanding the context behind policies and legislation that curtail civil liberties, such as freedom of speech. In her new book, " HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship," she explores how speech is protected under the Constitution and how free speech can be used to counter hate speech.

Twice named one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal, Strossen draws from her two decades as president of the American Civil Liberties Union and current post as professor at New York University law school to highlight the dangers that follow efforts to serve justice by limiting civil rights. She also offers useful and applicable strategies for achieving positive outcomes without violating Constitutional rights.

From government surveillance and decriminalization of drugs, to sexual harassment and more, Strossen makes even complex issues accessible through the use of illuminating statistics and true-life stories.

Moved by Strossen’s in-depth knowledge of history and the law, as well as her unapologetic defense of human rights, audiences leave with a renewed understanding of and appreciation for their hard-won freedoms.

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