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Stephen Wolgast, Speaker

Stephen Wolgast holds the Knight Chair in Audience and Community Engagement for News at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at KU.

Free Speech in Times of Crisis

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” With these simple words in the First Amendment, U.S. citizens are granted an inalienable right to express their opinions, a right that does not dissipate at times when society is under stress and disagreements get heated. Even when we do not agree with someone’s language, we believe in the speaker’s right to utter it—and that if we disagree with someone’s speech, the best response is more speech. History shows us, however, that sometimes people in positions of authority actively work to close off public discussion. This presentation will look at the reasons free speech is protected and explores how the use of social media and terms like "fake news" can hinder public discourse. 

Contact Stephen directly about speaking at your event:
(785) 370-6350‚Äč

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How to Bring a Humanities Kansas Speaker to Your Event

  1. Review the Movement of Ideas catalog and select a speaker and topic.
  2. Contact the speaker and confirm time, date, and location.
  3. If interested, you can apply for funding to bring this speaker to your community. Find out how. (Please note: Completed applications, including the DUNS number, must be submitted six weeks before the event date to be considered for funding. Humanities Kansas is not able to fund applications that do not meet this requirement.)
  4. Publicize your event. Download a press release template and photo and Humanities Kansas logo poster.
  5. Tell us how it went. After the event, download and fill out a Speakers Bureau Evaluation and Cost Share Form and email them to Abigail Kaup.
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