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CMU Civic Forum Launches Dignity in Dialogue Speaker Series to Reinforce Commitment to Free Speech and Civil Discourse

The CMU Civic Forum presents three high-caliber speakers this spring

This spring, the Colorado Mesa University Civic Forum proudly presents the Dignity in Dialogue Speaker Series. With the support of the Heterodox Academy and the campus’ Free Speech and Civil Discourse Committee, CMU will launch Dignity in Dialogue with three nationally renowned guest speakers, starting with civil liberties advocate Nadine Strossen, FIRE Board Member and former ACLU president. 

“Colorado Mesa University is committed to teaching students how to think, not what to think. This idea makes for a community where people with varying viewpoints and opinions can come together and engage in civil discourse,” said CMU President John Marshall. “At CMU, we believe free speech and expression allows us to convene difficult discussions in order to solve complex challenges. This series is significant for our community, and we’re thrilled to host national thought leaders who will surely bring enriching conversations to western Colorado.” 

At Colorado Mesa University, free speech is an essential part of being a Human Scale University where the campus community exemplifies CMU’s values and advances the mission of the university.  

In 2020, CMU’s Board of Trustees adopted the Chicago Principles, a national standard for free expression and open discourse. The policy resulted in CMU receiving a green rating from FIRE and resulted in enhanced visibility for campus as a place where speakers feel comfortable expressing views on a range of cultural and societal issues. 

Strossen will kick off the series on March 11 at 5:00pm in the CMU Ballroom, followed by a session at CMU Tech on March 12. Throughout the spring, CMU will also host Bret Stephens of the New York Times, followed by Konstantin Kisin who will visit CMU as part of a joint presentation between the Civic Forum and the Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization at CU Boulder. 

Strossen's presentation promises a dynamic exploration of contemporary free speech issues. The dialogue will delve into current controversies, including online platform regulations, the challenges posed by disinformation and the nuances of hate speech.  

"The Dignity in Dialogue Series is essential to our values as a university. In essence, finding the right balance between free speech and civility is an ongoing challenge for college campuses,” said CMU Co-Chair of Free Speech and Civil Discourse Committee Christi Hein. “Universities must continually navigate these complexities, upholding the principles of free expression, while fostering an inclusive environment that respects the dignity of all members of the academic community." 

The Dignity in Dialogue series aims to foster civil discourse and to teach students how to think, not what to think. 


Mark your calendars for the Dignity in Dialogue Speaker Series 2024: 

Nadine Strossen March 11, 2024: 

  • A Professor of Law at New York Law School and former ACLU President. 
  • Discussion on free speech, academic freedom and civil discourse. 
  • Location: Meyer Ballroom, CMU; Time: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm MST. 
  • Strossen will visit CMU Tech on March 12. 


Bret Stephens April 4, 2024: 

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times. 
  • Expertise in global politics and the importance of free expression. 
  • Time and location to be announced. 


Konstantin Kisin April 19, 2024: 

  • Dignity in Dialogue Discussion: "What is the role of patriotism in solving society's big problems?" 
  • Russian-British satirist, author, and Triggernometry podcast co-host. 
  • Explores themes of free speech, censorship and modern social discourse. 
  • Time and location to be announced. 


Free Registration and Additional Information: Click here to register for the free event. For detailed speaker information, including dates, times, and locations, please visit the CMU Civic Forum's official website. 



Written by Kelsey Coleman