Free Speech or Disruption: Civility in Public Debate

Jan 6 2010 - 9:38am

 

The Sorensen Institute's Bob Gibson and Coy Barefoot participated in a panel discussion recently in Charlottesville exploring civility in public debate and discourse. The event was sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression and titled "Free Speech or Disruption: Balancing the Rights to Speak and Hear."

Panelists included Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the Sorensen Institute; Elaine Jones, retired Director-Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the first African-American woman to graduate from the UVa School of Law; Robert O'Neil, Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center and former President of the University of Virginia; Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Editor for Slate.com and a Contributing Editor to Newsweek; and John Whitehead, CEO and Founder of the Rutherford Institute. Coy Barefoot served as the moderator.

This was a fascinating conversation that explored from many angles the role of civility in public discourse today. Click here to watch a complete video of the event.

Featured Alumni

  • Bobby Mathieson.jpg

    Bobby Mathieson

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 1999

    Bobby is a U.S. Marshall serving Virginia's Eastern District.

    He was a Virginia Beach police officer from 1975 to 2002, retiring as a master police officer. He later held a leadership post in the state Department of Criminal Justice and was subsequently elected to the Virginia House of Delegates where he represented the 21st District.