Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

– First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States

Active since 1980, the Florida Free Speech Forum (FFSF) is a lecture series that provides a place in our community for open and constructive dialogue. The FFSF is an independent, non-affiliated organization dedicated to the rational examination of public issues.

FFSF talks are luncheons held on the second Monday of each month from September through May at the Wyndham Garden Conference Center (formerly the Paramount Hotel and Conference Center). Guest speakers are given 30 minutes for their presentation and another 30 minutes for questions. Views expressed by the speakers are not necessarily those of FFSF. Forum programs are recorded and rebroadcast on WUFT-FM and WJUF-FM at 3:00 PM on the last Saturday of each month.

Please register for the talks since seating is limited. The buffet luncheon is served at 11:30 AM, and presentations begin promptly at 12:00 PM. The cost of the luncheon is $20.00 and is payable by cash or check at the door. Non-dining observers are welcome to attend at no cost.

Hate Crimes and Hate Speech, and What's the Difference

David Barkey
February 13, 2017
11:30am - 1:00pm

Although hate speech is generally protected in the U.S.,  the federal government and 45 states enhance penalties for bias-motivated criminal conduct.  This interactive presentation will provide an overview of federal and state hate crimes laws, examine the First Amendment implications of these laws, and discuss frequency and key characteristics of hate crimes.