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Inclusion and Freedom of Expression

A campus protest about free speech at Berkeley

Inclusion and Freedom of Expression

Recent events—nationwide and on college campuses alike—have too often pitted values of diversity, inclusion, and freedom of expression against each other, when in fact they should be mutually reinforcing. While college students believe in the principles of the First Amendment, many are willing to entertain restrictions when they see conflicts with other values and beliefs. Caught in the crosshairs are university leaders who want to do right by their communities such that all voices are heard, without letting deep divisions negatively affect the student experience or compromise the learning environment.

Our work in this space is three-fold, as we seek to:

  • provide a platform for higher education leaders to exchange ideas and best practices to build awareness and understanding of the opportunities and challenges in balancing free expression and campus inclusion.
  • create an environment in which college presidents and other stakeholders can work together to build an ecosystem where inclusion and freedom of expression are complementary, rather than adversarial.
  • shift from conversation to action, ultimately empowering presidents to create positive change on behalf of their students, their campuses, and their surrounding communities.
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