Civil Liberties Expert to Speak at University of Chicago

April 24, 2006

CHICAGO, April 24, 2006—Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), will speak at the University of Chicago on Tuesday, April 25. He will be participating in a panel discussion on the Danish cartoons of Mohammed.
 
The panel, which is sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), will take place at 7 p.m. in Room 107 of the Kent Chemical Laboratory Building. Other panelists will be ARI Executive Director Yaron Brook and Tom Flynn, the editor of Free Inquiry magazine. The cartoons will be shown.
 
“I am very pleased to have the chance to speak at Chicago,” said Lukianoff. “The controversy surrounding these cartoons goes to the very core of what free speech is about. I am glad that Chicago, unlike New York University and some other institutions, has decided that free and open discussion must be defended in the face of controversy and intimidation.”
 
FIRE constantly intervenes on campuses in defense of students’ and professors’ expressive rights—including the right to display controversial material such as the Danish cartoons. The organization is currently defending Karen Murdock, a professor at Century College in Minnesota who has faced would-be censors’ wrath since posting the cartoons on a hallway bulletin board in February.
 
Representatives of FIRE have participated in similar panel discussions at Johns Hopkins University and New York University (NYU). The event at Hopkins went off without a hitch, but the student organizers at NYU were not allowed to show the cartoons, as the New York Post and USA Today have reported. Lukianoff called on NYU President John Sexton to repudiate that censorship on April 17.
 
Lukianoff has been with FIRE since 2001, when he was hired to be FIRE’s first director of legal and public advocacy. He is a graduate of American University and of Stanford Law School, where he focused on First Amendment and constitutional law. Lukianoff has published articles in The Stanford Technology Law Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, The Boston Globe, and numerous other publications. He is also a regular columnist for the Daily Journal of Los Angeles and San Francisco. A frequent guest on local and national syndicated radio programs, Lukianoff has represented FIRE on national television shows—including The Abrams Report, Hannity and Colmes, and Buchanan and Press—and has testified before the U.S. Senate about free speech issues on America’s campuses.
 
FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve freedom of expression on college campuses across the country during the cartoon controversy can be viewed at thefire.org/cartoons.
 
CONTACT:
Charles Mitchell, Program Officer, FIRE: 215-717-3473; charles@thefire.org