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Press Release for Thursday, April 2, 2015

University of North Florida Hosts ‘Freedom of Speech’ Panel Discussion

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida will host “Freedom of Speech: The Linchpin of a Free Society” panel discussion from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, at the Adam W. Herbert University Center, Building 43, Board of Trustees Room, Room 1058.

The motivating factor for this event was the killings at the magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in early January, which raised many questions about the place of free speech in society and the conflicts between the right to freedom of expression and the sensibilities of different communities.

“Though this gruesome tragedy reignited debate on these questions in a dramatic fashion, there are currently many other areas where freedom of speech may be under threat,” said Dr. David Schwam-Baird, UNF associate professor of political science and one of the event organizers. “There have been controversies recently about control of the Internet and social media, and there are challenges to freedom of the press, here in America and around the world.”

The panel will be moderated by Staci Spanos, news anchor at WJXt Ch. 4. Panelists include Dr. Parvez Ahmed, UNF associate professor of finance; Susan-Cooper-Eastman, Folio Weekly journalist; Frank Denton, Florida Times-Union editor; François Kloc, Jacksonville Honorary French Consul; Christopher J. Roederer, Florida Coastal School of Law international programs director; and Dr. Brian Thornton, UNF professor of communication.

Co-sponsors for this free event include the UNF Department of Political Science and Public Administration, UNF Pre-Law Program, Folio Weekly and the First Coast Freethought Society.

For more information, contact Dr. David Schwam-Baird at (904) 620-1929. If you have a disability and require an accommodation for this occasion, contact (904) 620-2997.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.