Student Briefing: Diversity, Inclusion, and Free Speech at US Colleges


For Monday, October 17, 2016

Omar Safadi, PEN America:, +1 (646) 779 4830

And Campus for All: Diversity, Inclusion, and Free Speech at U.S. Universities
New PEN America Report Examines the State of Free Expression on Campus

NEW YORK—On Monday, October 17, PEN America will release the groundbreaking new report And Campus for All: Diversity, Inclusion, and Free Speech at U.S. Universities, which examines the future of free speech in American higher education. To encourage and support informed media coverage of this important issue, PEN America will offer student journalists privileged access to cover the release with a conference call briefing on the report and the related free speech issues at 5:00pm on October 17, featuring a Q&A with PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel and award-winning journalist EJ Graff, the lead investigator for the report.

And Campus for All combines extensive reporting and thorough analysis of all sides of recent debates, as well as three case studies informed by exclusive interviews with protagonists in some of the most pitched campus battles in recent years: skirmishes over free speech and issues of race at Yale, conflict surrounding activism on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at UCLA, and controversies over the implications for free speech of specific provisions of Title IX—the law that bars sex discrimination at educational institutions—at Northwestern University. Coming from the American arm of the world’s leading free expression organization, the incorporated “PEN America Principles on Campus Speech” stand to shape the direction of these raging debates nationally. The PEN America Principles offer a way to address some of the most polarizing campus unrest in decades over issues such as sexist speech, racial epithets, controversial campus speakers, trigger warnings, and so-called “safe spaces” and “microaggressions.”

Participants in the briefing call will be eligible to apply for financial support to attend a follow-up closed-door symposium with 30 prominent figures involved in campus free speech controversies at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on November 17-18, 2016.

WHO: PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel and Journalist EJ Graff

WHAT: Student journalist briefing call for new report And Campus for All: Diversity, Inclusion, and Freedom of Speech at U.S. Universities

WHEN: Monday, October 17, 2016, 5:00pm

WHERE: Conference call dial-in will be provided upon registration

WHY: Amid concerns that recent campus controversies may lead a rising generation to grow alienated from core American values of free speech, PEN America will release on Monday the “PEN America Principles on Campus Speech” to help guide university students, faculty, and administrators to advance inclusion and equality while safeguarding intellectual and academic freedom.

Journalists who wish to join the conference call must register here. An embargoed copy of the report and dial-in number for the conference call will be provided to all those who register.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.