The Center’s second annual #SpeechMatters conference took place on Thursday, February 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.
With a presidential election and national census, the stakes were high for U.S. democracy in 2020 — and civic engagement was more important than ever. Leading experts convened to discuss today’s most pressing issues related to participation, protest and policy development on college campuses nationwide.
View and download resources with examples of campus policies and guidelines around speech, protest and demonstrations here:
Registration & Lunch
Doors open; lunch provided.
Opening Remarks [FULL VIDEO]
University of California President Janet Napolitano and UC National Center for Free Speech & Civic Engagement Executive Director Michelle Deutchman kick off the day with welcome remarks.
Facebook and the Presidential Election [FULL VIDEO]
“Election” and “Facebook” often appear in the same sentence. Facebook Public Policy Director for Global Elections, Katie Harbath, discusses the company’s efforts to protect elections and encourage civic participation.
Cast Your Vote: How Students Are Shaping American Democracy [FULL VIDEO]
Between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections, voter turnout among U.S. college students more than doubled. What does this dramatic spike mean for 2020? Voting researchers and advocates will discuss why young adult participation in elections matters and how campuses can boost voter engagement.
Fellows Program Video Presentation [FULL VIDEO]
The Center highlights the 2019-2020 class of Fellows and their research projects in a brief video.
Lightning Talk [FULL VIDEO]
University of California, Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman reviews the basic legal issues shaping how campuses address protest and the policy choices campuses must make, with specific examples from UCI’s recently promulgated free speech policies.
Get Up, Stand Up: Protest and Disruption on Campus [FULL VIDEO]
A recurring challenge for universities is how best to handle campus protests. How do we create and enforce policies that ensure students can use their voices while maintaining a safe environment? What is the line between protected protest and disruption? In this panel, campus leaders discuss drafting policies and best practices.
Tackling Hate: Dumpson v. Anglin [FULL VIDEO]
Taylor Dumpson was the first African-American female student body president of American University. Following her election in May 2017, nooses were hung throughout campus and a neo-Nazi posted Dumpson’s personal information online and encouraged his followers to harass her. The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights represented Dumpson; a Lawyer’s Committee team member shares the story of her case and what its outcome means for online harassment.
Notes from the Field: Civic Participation on Campus [FULL VIDEO]
Engaging with the democratic process includes much more than voting. This panel of experts discusses other forms of civic participation including the census, responsible citizenship and the role higher education must play in fostering involvement across the campus community.
Closing Remarks [FULL VIDEO]
Executive Director Michelle Deutchman wraps up the day's events with brief remarks.
Interim Co-Director & Policy Counsel
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Reporter on aging/generations/demography
The Washington Post
Sociologist and First-year Experience
Curricula Designer; 2019-2020 Fellow, UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement
UC Berkeley School of Law
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)
Complete Count Committee Chair
League of Women Voters of Wake County
UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement
North Carolina Campus Compact
University of California, Irvine
Public Policy Director, Global Elections
Professor of Communication Studies
UNC, Greensboro; 2019-2020 Fellow, UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement
White House Correspondent
Chronicle of Higher Education
University of California
University of California, Irvine
Director, Student Engagement
University of Nevada, Reno
Chief of Police
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of California Student Association
Dr. Mark S. Schlissel
University of Michigan
Every Vote Counts
Director, Institute for Democracy & Higher Education
University of California,
Washington Center (UCDC)
1608 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Weren’t able to make it to DC or tune into the live stream? Watch the full day of sessions here:
Click below to see photos and videos from last year’s conference.