FREE SPEECH -- Given the difficulty some community college boards and administrators seem to have in grasping basic free speech concepts, the relevant faculty members may wish to apply for this grant to bring First Amendment experts to campus for general enlightenment.  But act soon; deadline to apply is June 1.

According to Sandra Chance, executive director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida and campus coordinator for the project,

The Liberty Tree  Initiative is accepting applications for its second round of funding to support First Amendment programs on college campuses across the country.  In 2009-2010, funding from the McCormick Foundation provided $5,000 grants to 10 universities for diverse Liberty Tree Initiative programs and First Amendment celebrations, from Connecticut to California, North Carolina to Pennsylvania.

Up to 20 campuses will receive $5,000 grants to promote the First Amendment by bringing thought-provoking programs and nationally renowned speakers to their campuses during the 2010-2011 academic year.

“The Liberty Tree Initiative is a remarkable partnership that taps into the energy of the First Amendment and the insights of experts, academic leaders, artists, musicians and journalists,” according to Ken Paulson, president and chief operating officer of the Freedom Forum and Newseum in Washington, D.C. , and  former editor of USA Today.  Paulson is one of the driving forces behind the initiative, designed to continue the tradition of constructive and collegial conversations about freedom started by America’s earliest patriots under an elm tree near the Boston Commons in 1665. 

To see examples of last year’s programs, check out our Facebook page.

For more information, contact Professor at Chance (schance@jou.ufl.edu).