FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff will join a panel discussion tomorrow at the University of California, Irvine, at 7pm PDT (10pm EDT), titled The future of speech and ‘microaggressions’ on college campuses. The panel, hosted by Southern California Public Radio’s AirTalk, features a diverse set of speakers, including college professors and a comedian, debating the question: “What responsibility should the university have in balancing free speech with protecting against offending others?”
AirTalk explains the background:
The University of California has come under fire this summer for a series of workshops for deans and department heads on so-called microaggressions — “slights, snubs or insults…that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target people based solely on their marginalized group membership,” according to a University memo. They can be intentional or not, and range from questions such as “Where were you born?” to statements about America being a melting pot, or claiming that gender plays no part in who you hire. UC officials claim these types of microaggressions can create a hostile learning environment and they advise faculty to avoid them; Opponents say it’s tantamount to censorship. Are efforts to protect students from emotional distress limiting important campus debate?
If you’re in the area, RSVP here to attend the event.