Democracy dialogue: Free speech, hate speech, how much can we take?

Thursday, June 30, 2022

1 p.m. 2:15 p.m. PT


In an age where hate has gone viral and virtual forums inspire mass killings, can the First Amendment still be viewed in the benign light of the past? How can we manage the unintended consequences of free speech? Is speech an issue society must readdress? Given the politics of the moment and ever-expanding role of the internet, what is the principled position when it comes to speech?

This panel will offer a searching and provocative exploration of where the debate over free speech debate stands today, and where it should be going.


  • Cathy Buerger, Director of Research, Dangerous Speech Project
  • Ben Holden, Professor of Journalism, with research and teaching emphasis on the First Amendment, Northwestern University
  • Martin Garbus, renowned constitutional lawyer whose clients have ranged from Lenny Bruce and Andrei Sakharov to the Public Broadcasting System and Great Britain’s Channel 4.
  • Emerson Sykes, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project


  • Ellis Cose, Director, Renewing American Democracy project, and author of The Short Life and Curious Death of Free Speech in America

This event is organized by the Renewing American Democracy project in partnership with USC Annenberg's Center for Communications Leadership and Policy, Long Island University, and Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.