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Upcoming Symposium Will Explore Anti-Semitism and the First Amendment

Duquesne University, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, is hosting a symposium on the intersection of anti-Semitism and the First Amendment's free speech clause.

The symposium will be held on Monday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the Duquesne Union Ballroom. Free and open to the public, it will feature a panel discussion and question-and-answer session, followed by a reception.

Topics to be addressed include censorship; the Boycott, Sanction and Divestment (BDS) movement; hate speech and academic freedom on college campuses. Participants will discuss the legal context of anti-Semitism and what actions legislatures can take to protect the Jewish community.

Senior David DeFelice, who is a member of the University's Jewish Student Organization, planned and organized the symposium in response to the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in October.

"I want this event to shed light on why certain types of hate speech are permitted, and what, if anything, our legislators can do to protect vulnerable communities," said DeFelice. "After the Tree of Life shooting, I thought it was important to have a robust intellectual debate on how we can preserve the human dignity of the Jewish people and the free speech rights of all Americans."

Symposium panelists include:

  • Josh Sayles, director of the Community Relations Council for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Bruce Ledewitz, professor of law at Duquesne
  • Alana Bandos, regional education director of the Anti-Defamation League
  • Stephanie Reiss, attorney and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) representative.

For more information and to register, visit the symposium website.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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