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February 2020


Dr. Maggie Labarta former President and Chief Executive Officer for Meridian Behavioral Healthcare
Feb 10th @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

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March 2020

Adam Playford deputy editor at the Tampa Bay Times
March 9th @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

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September 2020

Joe Little, emeritus professor of law at UF
September 14th @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

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October 2020

Pamela Marsh, President of the First Amendment Foundation
October 12th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

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November 2020

With architect, educator, artist, and activist Kim Tanzer
November 9th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

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December 2020

With educator and activist Jim Notestein
December 14th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Exhibits to accompany the presentation:
Document A
Document B
Document C 1-4

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January 2021

Defending Human Rights One Asylum Case at a Time

with UF Professor emeritus of anthropology, Allan Burns
January 11th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Summary: The work of an expert witness in asylum and deportation cases includes documenting the conditions of violent and dangerous parts of the world today and testifying about those conditions. I take my perspective from the anthropologist Margaret Mead who always said that anthropology should be relative to the world today. Her emphasis on studying small groups shows the importance of understanding human rights from the perspective of human rights lawyers, experts, Department of Homeland Security lawyers, immigration judges, and of course asylum seekers and their families. Asylum seekers seek to live without the threats of drug cartels, corrupt governments, criminal organizations, and hate crimes people. Asylum laws and procedures as well as changes in those who seek asylum today have created a humanitarian crisis. So, what can we do?

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February 2021

with Gary Edinger
February 8th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Summary: Well isn’t that some crazy sh*t?! The President’s speech and the insurrection at the Capital provide a great, if tragic, lesson in civics and the First Amendment. From the perspective of a First Amendment litigator, some of that day’s activities were clearly protected speech, some was extremely borderline (the President’s intemperate language and Rudy’s call for “trial by combat”), while the vandalism at the Capitol clearly was not speech of any kind. To my thinking there are few parallels between the events of Jan. 6th and the BLM demonstrations last summer. There is a difference between civil war and civil reform. On the other hand, there is no question that there were some bad actors engaged in rioting and that did not look much like reasoned discourse.

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March 2021

with Dr. Elizabeth Yeager Washington and Dr. Judith Pace
March 8th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Elizabeth Yeager Washington is Professor and Coordinator of Secondary Education and Social Studies Education at the University of Florida in Gainesville, a Senior Fellow of the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, and a Knight Fellow at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin. She previously served as editor of Theory and Research in Education (2001-2007). She teaches secondary social studies methods, civics and government methods, and global studies methods courses. Her research interests include civic education, critical democratic citizenship education, and the teaching and learning of history.

Dr. Judith Pace is Professor of Teacher Education at The University of San Francisco. She earned her EdD from Harvard University. She is a qualitative researcher interested in classroom teaching and how it is shaped by teachers, students, schools, and society. Her research has focused on classroom authority and academic engagement, teaching for democratic citizenship, social studies teaching under high stakes accountability, and preparation of preservice teachers for teaching controversial issues. Her forthcoming book is titled Hard Questions: Learning to Teach Controversial Issues (Rowman & Littlefield).

Note that FFSF events are now online, hosted through Zoom. If you are a Florida Free Speech Forum member, you will automatically be sent an invitation to this event. Otherwise, to receive an invitation, please apply for membership.

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April 2021

with Reuters news service
April 12th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

The Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award is an annual $3,000 cash award, sponsored by The Brechner Center. The award recognizes excellence in reporting about freedom of information, access to government-held information, or the First Amendment.

A spokesperson from this year’s winner, Reuters new service, will be our speaker for April.

From the Brechner News announcement:

“For a series of investigative news stories exposing the enormity of preventable deaths in county jails across the United States attributable to suicides or medical conditions, a team of reporters from the Reuters news service is the winner of the annual Brechner Freedom of Information Award for investigative reporting.

For a series of stories published throughout 2020, “Dying Inside,” Reuters reporters filed more than 1,500 state freedom-of-information requests to gather the records behind 7,571 deaths in county lockups between 2008 and 2019. They found that the vast majority of those who died were not serving sentences after conviction, but were merely being held in custody waiting for their trial dates, often because they could not afford bail. “The toll of jail inmates who die without a case resolution subverts a fundamental tenet of the U.S. criminal justice system: innocent until proven guilty,” the reporting team wrote.

Reuters reporters documented that the death rate is statistically greater in jails with privatized medical care supplied by outside contractors, raising questions about whether corners are being cut in the pursuit of profit. The team’s data reporting was augmented by interviews with grieving family members across the country, recounting how their loved ones failed to receive attention for life-threatening mental health problems while in custody.”

[Read the full announcement here]

Note that FFSF events are now online, hosted through Zoom. If you are a Florida Free Speech Forum member, you will automatically be sent an invitation to this event. Otherwise, to receive an invitation, please apply for membership.

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