OU celebrates Free Speech Week to emphasize that diverse perspectives are welcomed and integral to the educational environment. This year Free Speech Week will be observed October 17-23, 2022.
This week marks the national celebration of Free Speech Week. This annual, non-partisan event recognizes the freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – the rights of free speech, inquiry, and expression, which have been at the heart of the great American experiment since our very founding.
At OU, these rights are so ingrained in what we do as a university that we believe it’s essential to mark the occasion. That’s why we’ve set aside time to recognize Free Speech Week as a university. A slate of events will be offered during the days ahead, and I encourage you to participate. Read more about OU’s commitment to Free Speech and the Chicago Statement.
– Joseph Harroz, Jr., President
October 17-23, 2022
The OU Honors College will sponsor a teach-in that features a series of discussions and workshops on topics related to free speech. Specific sessions will examine free speech in relation to critical race theory, sexual identity, and the impacts of Oklahoma's HB 1775 on public education.
October 17, 2022
11 am – 1 pm
The Division of DEI will interview OU community members of what free speech means to them. This is an opportunity for participants to share their voice and highlight the diversity of OU in relation to the first amendment.
October 17, 2022
Meacham Auditorium, Oklahoma Memorial Union
Details on both talks below.
October 18, 2022
Beaird Lounge, Oklahoma Memorial Union
OU will host a discussion featuring Harvard law professor, author, and constitutional scholar Noah Feldman, who will discuss threats to free speech in the age of social media. Lecture with reception to follow.
October 20, 2022
Gaylord 1140, Auditorium
This OU Free Speech Week panel discussion will focus on similarities, differences and the current state of freedom of speech in regions around the world. Panelists will include Feroz Bashari, a senior director of Communications to the president of Afghanistan; Zeeshan Khan, an actor, content creator and story teller from the north of Pakistan who is also known as Celebrity Soul; Rad Sharar Bin Kamal, a content specialist from Bangladesh; Shabnam Farook, a former editor and freelance journalist from Sri Lanka; Sibongile Mpofu, a former print journalist now a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe; and Gaylord Associate Dean Elanie Steyn, a native of South Africa. Gaylord Media Law and History Prof. Robert Kerr will moderate. This event is co-sponsored by the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the OU College of Law. A reception afterward will provide information on law-school opportunities, hosted by Prof. Joe Thai, Associate Dean for Research and Enrichment at OU Law.
For the academic calendar year, the OU community will have access to view the report, "Free Speech, Internet Privacy and the 'Right to Be Forgotten."
Political ads have long been a form of free speech and open discussion on issues facing our nation and communities. View the archive, curated by the Carl Albert Center, of political ads through the years.
Student journalism is a key aspect of free speech protected by the First Amendment and plays a valuable role on many college campuses across the nation. The OU Daily is a student-led newspaper on the Norman campus that serves the OU community through university stories, outlining news, and amplifying student, faculty, and staff voices.
The Carl Albert Center partnered with the Oklahoma Historical Society, funded by Inasmuch, and recently completed a project to analyze and digitize the historical background and past projects of the OU Daily and past papers at OU.