Free Speech Fridays

PACE Presents: Free Speech Fridays

Free Speech Fridays offer us the opportunity to put our First Amendment free speech rights into action. Sessions focus on controversial issues of wide interest and are free and open to the public. Our goal is to facilitate passionate but civil discussion that can empower participants to think for themselves. Free Speech Fridays provide one way that PACE, in the words of the program’s vision statement, “cultivates knowledge, develops leadership, and builds communication skills to prepare members of the IU community to take action for positive change.” Join us!

Guidelines for Free Speech Friday discussions:

  • All views are welcome, but please do your best to keep your comments civil, respectful, and focused on the content of the ideas raised and not the people who have raised them.
  • Listen to understand
  • Listen for common ground
  • When you disagree, do so with curiosity, not hostility
  • Refrain from interrupting
  • Keep your comments brief to maximize the participation of all speakers

Next Free Speech Friday

Friday, November 3:
"Should Universities Stay Neutral? The Politics of Campus Statements"

by the red clock between Woodburn and Ballantine
12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.

Free pizza!

Since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, leaders of colleges and universities around the country have been under intense pressure to issue official statements on the developing conflict. At IU, President Whitten issued a brief statement on October 10, referring without further specifics to the “horrific violence that has occurred over the past few days.” Two days later she issued a very different statement, focusing on the impact on members of IU’s Jewish community of what Whitten described as “grievous atrocities at the hands of Hamas terrorists.” Should university presidents issue statements on controversial public issues? If the institution officially remains neutral, does that open more space for conversation, or is it an abdication of moral responsibility? Come join our discussion on this very current topic!


Contact us

Carl Weinberg
Teaching Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of History
Director, PACE Institute for Role-Immersive Teaching and Learning (PIRTL)