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Campus Free Speech Realities And Myths

University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) students and graduates have been embroiled in two of the biggest free speech controversies in recent years. In 2016, UNR graduate and National Football League (NFL) player Colin Kaepernick protested before football games when he refused to stand for the national anthem. In the summer of 2017, UNR student Peter Cvjetanovic became the face of the white nationalist rally he attended in Charlottesville, Virginia. Reflecting on these examples, Lee Rowland discusses three myths about our First Amendment rights and then concludes with practical suggestions for exercising free speech rights powerfully and strategically. Lee Rowland is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. Lee has extensive experience as a litigator, lobbyist, and public speaker. She has served as lead counsel in federal First Amendment cases involving public employee speech rights, the First Amendment rights of community advocates, government regulation of digital speech, and state secrecy surrounding the lethal injection process. She also authors amicus briefs and blogs on topics including the intersection of speech and privacy, student and public employee speech, obscenity, and the Communications Decency Act. While at the ACLU, Lee has served as an adjunct clinical professor for NYU Law’s Technology Law and Policy Clinic, a member of the New York Bar Association’s Communications and Media Law Committee, and an adjunct faculty member in the Human Rights Program at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community

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