[RECAP] Free Speech and Black Lives on Campus | #students | #parents

NEW YORK—On June 17, PEN America hosted “Free Speech and Black Lives on Campus,” a roundtable webinar organized in response to the recent protests that have galvanized a national call to conscience regarding the persistent challenges of racism and anti-Black violence in the United States. Panelists discussed how these events have reverberated throughout college and university communities, surfacing a series of urgent issues pertaining to racism in higher education and the actions university administrators must take to address these issues.

Moderated by PEN America Director of Campus Free Speech Jonathan Friedman, panelists included Neijma Celestine-Donnor (Director of Bias Incident Support Services, University of Maryland), Shardé M. Davis (professor at the University of Connecticut, and cofounder of #BlackintheIvory), Jael Kerandi (Undergraduate Student Body President, University of Minnesota), Dinaw Mengestu (award-winning author and Professor of Written Arts, Bard College, and PEN America Trustee), and Joy Melody Woods (Ph.D. student, University of Texas at Austin, and cofounder of #BlackintheIvory). These excerpts from the conversation have been edited for clarity.


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