DePaul Launches Year-Long Series on Race and Free Speech

As part of DePaul's broad action plan to address issues that came to a tipping point last spring, the university community is invited to participate in the President's Series on Race and Free Speech. This year-long series of events, intended to strengthen the university community, will offer perspectives across the political spectrum on various topics including race, free speech and hate speech, and the current political climate.

Sponsored by the President's Office, in collaboration with Government Affairs, Academic Affairs and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, the series will launch on Sept. 19, featuring keynote speaker and former DePaul faculty member Michael Eric Dyson. Several events have already been scheduled. Openings and funding exist for the university community to propose additional speakers. The events are open to students, faculty and staff.

"We recognize these issues facing all of American higher education will not be solved overnight," says the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul. "Through this series we are hoping to enrich and inform a conversation that provides our university community with fresh and real ways to live our Vincentian commitments."

The series specifically aims to help the university community to:

  • Engage in a dialogue on two important topics: race and free speech
  • Think through the complex ways in which such ideals are implemented in action.
  • Examine key issues from a variety of perspectives
  • Provide an inclusive environment for these conversations.
  • Further strengthen DePaul's Vincentian values.

The university invites students to submit proposals to receive funding for programs on key issues and topics including: race in America, themes of the election, and freedom of speech and expression. Additional programming will be added as the year progresses. Updates and a calendar of events can be found on the OIDE website.

Kick off session Monday, Sept. 19 Michael Eric Dyson: "Why Race Matters" 1 - 2:30 p.m. Lincoln Park Student Center 120 A/B. Michael Eric Dyson is an American author and professor of sociology at Georgetown University

Tuesday, Oct. 11 Lunch with Vincent Jeff Chang 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Lincoln Park Student Center 314B Jeff Chang is an American author and journalist, a professor at Stanford University and executive director of the school's Institute for Diversity in the Arts

Thursday, Oct. 27 Inclusive Speech and Expression Panel 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Lewis Center, 241 Panelists include Stephanie Shonekan, University of Missouri-Columbia; Alexander Tsesis, Loyola University; Derald Wing Sue, Columbia University; David Hudson, Vanderbilt University

Friday, Nov. 4 Freeman Hrabowski: "Race and Excellence" 2 - 3 p.m. Cortelyou Commons Freeman Hrabowski is president of UMBC and chair of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Wednesday, Nov. 9 Lunch with Vincent Martin R. Castro, chair of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. DePaul Center, 11th floor Martin R. Castro is chair of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights, and president and CEO of Castro Synergies, LLC​