Like all university communities, we succeed best when we promote participation, freedom of expression, respect for differing opinions and the responsible pursuit of inquiry. As I have written about before, the U.S. Supreme Court has said it is vital to a healthy society that higher education institutions be a “marketplace of ideas” and uphold principles of free speech.
February is a great month to see this “marketplace” in action as we continue to celebrate Black History Month. A large number of events have occurred and more are planned—each encouraging dialogue on a wide array of issues related to the African American experience and race relations in America. One of the larger events for example, The New Jim Crow Forum will present a discussion of social inequality in the African-American community. It will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Sago Palm Room, Student Union. Movies, art shows, panel discussions and more are happening at FAU, and we encourage everyone to learn more about all Black History Month events on our website and participate.
We continuously foster important dialogues on other topics as well. On Monday, Feb. 17, Christians United for Israel at FAU presented a talk by Holocaust survivor Irving Roth who shared his personal story of survival. And today from 5 to 7 p.m. in the House Chambers of the Student Union (CR 31-E), Gail Burnaford, Professor, Department of Curriculum, Culture and Educational Inquiry, will discuss her personal thoughts about the Israeli/Palestinian peace process after her trip to the region.
And tomorrow, Wednesday, February 19, will see the presentation of “Inside the White House from Nixon to Obama: A Conversation with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.” This popular event is sure to spark conversations about the nature of power and the presidency.
Our University continues to be a vibrant venue for events that present a myriad of geopolitical, economic, social and environmental issues for discussion. We do not endorse every point of view that is presented but do encourage the peaceful and respectful sharing of all points of view.
We take tremendous pride in the fact that Florida Atlantic University has long ranked as the most racially, ethnically and culturally diverse institution in Florida’s State University System. This strength of diversity makes FAU an especially dynamic “marketplace of ideas”—one in which we are all free to participate.