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Free Speech and Open Inquiry series to begin with student journalism discussion

Steven Listopad, founder of New Voices USA, is scheduled to present a Free Speech and Open Inquiry lecture on student journalism at NDSU on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The event is set to start at 4 p.m. in Minard Hall, room 230.

In his talk, ““Hazelwood: 32 years of living with a bad SCOTUS decision, and what we’re doing about it,” Listopad will discuss the Tinker and Hazelwood Supreme Court cases; their impact on students, society and democracy; and how journalism advocates in North Dakota and around the country worked to restore rights for student journalists.

“Steve’s work in North Dakota and many other states has been instrumental in securing free speech rights for students,” said Jeremy Jackson, director of the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise. “We’re thrilled to have him as the first speaker in the Free Speech and Open Inquiry series.”

The event is free and open to the public.

“One of the pillars of our society and of the university experience is to engage with opposing thoughts and ideas through civil discourse. We often hear about the polarization of people today, so we wanted to organize an opportunity for our students and community to not just hear about the importance of free speech and open inquiry, but to see them in action,” said Jackson.

New Voices USA is a national legislative campaign to protect the rights of student journalists. Listopad led the passage of the John Wall New Voices Act in 2015 and an update to the law in 2017. The North Dakota John Wall New Voices Act ensures the free speech rights of journalism students in North Dakota public schools and colleges and protects journalism educators from retaliation.

Listopad earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mass communication from NDSU. He has worked as an assistant professor of journalism and the student media director at the University of Jamestown and Valley City State University.

He now is a lecturer and media adviser at Henderson State University in Arkansas and is completing his doctoral degree at NDSU.

This is the first event in the Free Speech and Open Inquiry series, which will explore the role of freedom of speech and civil discourse in society.

The series is sponsored by the NDSU Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise, the Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth and the Institute for Humane Studies.

Thomas Cushman is scheduled to deliver the next presentation March 3 on “Making Unpersons: The Emergence of Cancel Culture in Modern America.” Cushman is a professor of sociology and founder of the Freedom Project at Wellesley College.

The keynote lecture, given by Nobel laureate Vernon Smith, is set for March 27. Smith received the Nobel Prize in economic sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. His lecture is titled “Classical Economics: Lost and Found; Role of Experiments.”

The Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise produces research and programming on issues relevant to North Dakota and the Upper Great Plains region to advance knowledge of the sources and causes of human well-being and the distinctive roles of entrepreneurship, free markets, philanthropy, private enterprise and public policy. The Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth aims to advance understanding in the areas of innovation, trade and institutions to identify policies and solutions that enhance economic growth and opportunity. 

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North Dakota State University
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