May 1, 2019: Disinvited Dinner

The Disinvited Dinner celebrates and affirms a culture of free speech and First Amendment principles, the importance and meaning of academic freedom, and the search for Truth by offering a platform to someone whose speech has been suppressed elsewhere.

Why a Disinvited Dinner?

Necessity of free speech

First Amendment freedoms and a robust culture of support for them lie at the foundation of liberal democracy and especially the mission of higher education, which is teaching and pursuing Truth through intellectual excellence and freedom of inquiry.

Suffragists Protest Woodrow Wilson's Opposition to Woman Suffrage, October 1916

Free speech challenged

On campuses across the country, however, university students and leaders often abridge this freedom. Pressure and threats from both the left and the right turn speaking engagements into disinvitations.

Photo: Middlebury College

Charles Murray is protested at Middlebury College.

Dozens of disinvitations

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education documents 43 disinvitations in 2016 alone. From Mumia Abu-Jamal to Ben Stein, from Jeff Sessions to Joe Biden, none seem safe from what Alexis de Tocqueville calls “the tyranny of the majority.”

Sifting and winnowing plaque outside Bascom Hall.

Sponsors

Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy