The Center’s 3rd annual #SpeechMatters conference will take place virtually on Tuesday, April 20th and Wednesday, April 21st, 2021.

Over the past year higher education has been upended as colleges and universities transitioned to remote learning and the online campus. How has this transition—along with the summer’s historic protests, the 2020 election and the change in administration—impacted democratic engagement, activism and the national speech landscape? How will we navigate the return to in-person learning and post-pandemic life?

 

Join scholars, students and advocates virtually as we look forward and chart the course for campus expression and engagement.    

DAY 1 AGENDA: TUESDAY, APRIL 20

10:00 AM PT

Opening Remarks

UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement Executive Director Michelle Deutchman kicks off the day with welcome remarks.

10:10 AM PT

On Trust in Science and Public Health Communications

UC President Michael V. Drake, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly and NPR health reporter Pien Huang discuss the importance of science and medicine and the role of government in shaping the public health message.

10:55 AM PT

Challenges to Truth: Disinformation in the Digital Age

Leading experts in the field discuss how campus stakeholders—and society at large—can mitigate the impact and harm of fake news, false narratives and algorithmic bias.

- Renee DiResta, Stanford Internet Observatory
- Alice E. Marwick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Ebonee Rice, News Literacy Project
- Moderator: David Greene, Electronic Frontier Foundation

11:45 AM PT

Fellows Program Video Presentation

The Center highlights the 2020-2021 class of Fellows and their research projects in a brief video.

11:55 AM PT

Diving Deep: Current Threats to Academic Freedom

A conversation with former Center Fellow Keith Whittington, Academic Committee Chair of the recently founded Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA). AFA is dedicated to protecting the rights of faculty members at colleges and universities to speak, instruct, and publish without fear of sanction or punishment.

12:25 PM PT

Closing Remarks

Executive Director Michelle Deutchman wraps up the day's events with brief remarks.

DAY 2 AGENDA: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21

10:00 AM PT

Opening Remarks

UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement Executive Director Michelle Deutchman kicks off the day with welcome remarks.

10:05 AM PT

Remarks from the UC Student Association

UCSA President Aidan Arasasingham sets the stage for the “Student Advocacy and Activism at UC” panel.

10:10 AM PT

Student Advocacy and Activism at UC

Hear from University of California undergraduate and graduate change-makers about their efforts to transform university life during challenging times.

- Rafael Jaime, Southern Vice President UAW 2865, UC Los Angeles
- Syreeta Nolan, Disability Advocate, UC San Diego
- Naomi Waters, Racial Justice Now! Campaign Vice-Chair, UC Riverside
- Essence Wynter, BSU Demands Team Lead, UC Santa Barbara
- Moderator: Emerson Sykes, ACLU; '19-20 Center Fellow

11:05 AM PT

Processing and Predictions: A Conversation about Speech on Campus

Center Executive Director Michelle Deutchman sits down with Center Co-Chairs Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law, and Howard Gillman, Chancellor of UC Irvine.

11:40 AM PT

Looking Ahead: Sustaining and Building Civic Engagement on Campus

Through protesting, volunteering, advocating and voting, young people fueled a new wave of civic engagement in 2020. Leaders in the field of campus voting and engagement discuss how higher education can support this momentum and further incorporate civic engagement into daily campus life.

- Jen Domagal-Goldman, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
- Katya Ehresman, Campus Vote Project
- Alexandria Harris, The Andrew Goodman Foundation
- Moderator: Greta Anderson, Inside Higher Ed

12:25 PM PT

Closing Remarks

Executive Director Michelle Deutchman wraps up the 2021 conference with brief remarks.

Speakers

Greta Anderson

Reporter

Inside Higher Ed

Aidan Arasasingham

President

UC Student Association

Erwin Chemerinsky

Dean

UC Berkeley School of Law

Michelle Deutchman

Executive Director

UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement

Renée DiResta

Technical Research Manager

Stanford Internet Observatory

Jennifer Domagal-Goldman

Executive Director

ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge at Civic Nation

Michael V. Drake

President

University of California

Katya Ehresman

Student Advisory Board Chair

Campus Vote Project

Mark Ghaly MD, MPH

Secretary

California Health and Human Services Agency

Howard Gillman

Chancellor

UC Irvine

David Greene

Senior Staff Attorney and Civil Liberties Director

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Alexandria Harris

President

The Andrew Goodman Foundation

Pien Huang

Reporter, Science Desk

NPR

Rafael Jaime

Southern Vice President

UAW 2865, UC Los Angeles

Alice E. Marwick

Associate Professor, Department of Communication

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Syreeta Nolan

Disability Advocate

UC San Diego

Ebonee Rice

Vice President, Educator Network

News Literacy Project

Emerson Sykes

Staff Attorney

ACLU

Naomi Waters

Racial Justice Now! Campaign Vice-Chair

UC Riverside

Keith E. Whittington

Chair, Academic Committee

Academic Freedom Alliance

Essence Wynter

BSU Demands Team Lead

UC Santa Barbara

Click below to see photos and videos from last year’s conference.