About the Program

Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy—A National Dialogue is a national program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Bridging Cultures initiative.

    

The American Bar Association (ABA) Division for Public Education conducted Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy, a planning forum and workshop, in , March 3-5, 2011. The moderated public forum and facilitated workshop explored the importance of balancing civility and freedom of expression, and how these values sometimes conflict, and the role that each play in a democracy.

    

The forum and workshop brought together scholars, educators, journalists, law-related professionals, community leaders, and students from across the country to explore these ideas and to reflect purposefully on the program theme and to develop a framework for a national program on the theme.

    

The conference proceedings were published in Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy: A Conference Report and Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy: Guide to Planning Public Programs. Project partners included the Center for Civic Engagement at Northwestern University, the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, the Illinois Humanities Council, and the Newberry Library.

 

These activities created a foundation for the implementation grant, Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy—A National Dialogue. The has assembled six advisory scholars [link to Advisory Scholars list page] and partnered with organizations in nine states [link to partners list page] to conduct thirteen public programs in cities across the country. Programs will take place between September 2012 and June 2013. Each of the public programs will explore the balance between civility and constitutional democracy, and contribute to a national dialogue around the topic.

Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities under the Bridging Cultures initiative. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Bar Association, or any of its program partners.

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