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Free Speech Forum Set For UNF

Free speech is the linchpin of a free society and one of America’s most deeply held values. That's the premise behind a special event on the UNF campus.

The panel discussion will look at the origins and function of the First Amendment, guaranteeing Americans the right to free speech and free expression.

"These issues are timely," said David Schwam-Baird, professor of political science at UNF. Schwam-Baird and Earl Coggins, president of the First Coast Free Thought Society, appeared on First Coast Connect.

"From the shootings at the Paris satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo to challenges to books in this country, we must remain vigilant," said Coggins.

Here are the event's panelists:

  • Parvez Ahmed, PhD, Associate Professor of Finance, UNF
  • Susan Cooper Eastman, Staff Writer, Folio Weekly
  • Frank Denton PhD, Editor, Florida Times-Union
  • François Kloc, Honorary French Consul, Jacksonville
  • Brian Thornton, PhD, Professor of Communications, UNF

The event is free and open to the public and kicks off at 7 p.m. at the UNF University Center.

Listen the entire interview with David Schwam-Baird and Earl Coggins on today's episode of the First Coast Connect podcast.

You can follow Melissa Ross @MelissainJax.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.