Cognizant of the powerful forces shaping public discourse, the Thomson Reuters Institute is pleased to produce a spotlight webinar series on social justice, activism, and corporate responsibility in modern society. Our aim is to bring together key influencers and power brokers from the academic, practitioner, and regulatory quarters for a series of cordial and earnest dialogues around social upheaval and transformation.
In a July 7 open letter in Harper’s Magazine, over 150 public intellectuals attested that American cultural institutions were facing “a moment of trial” in the court of public opinion. Despite acknowledging a much needed “reckoning” of social justice and police reform, each individual decried a “new set of moral attitudes and political commitments” poised to “weaken…open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity.” Free speech, it appears, no matter how problematic or incendiary, is being “constricted” by a rising tide of intolerance and retribution toward any and all contrarian perspectives. America, the authors argued—indeed the “lifeblood of liberal society”—is wholly dependent upon the permissibility of “good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences” that has long defined our national identity. This conversation explores the important and increasingly virulent rise of so-called “cancel culture” in public discourse. In an era where pejorative terms like “Karen,” “Becky,” “ Chad,” or “Trixie” continue to gather steam, are cries about the erosion of first amendment rights now a legitimate cause for concern?
Jason Meyer, JD, President and Founder, LeadGood LLC
Apryl Alexander, PsyD, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University of Denver
Krista Baughman, JD, Partner, Dhillon Law Group
Joshua Dunn, PhD, Director, Center for the Study of Government and the Individual, University of Colorado
Jonathan Zimmerman, PhD, Professor of History of Education, University of Pennsylvania
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