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June 2021

All About First Amendment Audits

June 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Free
Eric Shytle

A recent phenomenon, "First Amendment Audits" - in which citizen activists videotape in public spaces - has been sweeping the nation. Most First Amendment Audits primarily target law enforcement agencies, town officials, public libraries, or other state and local agencies. With COVID restrictions loosening, we could see more instances of residents testing their rights to create video recordings in public places. We'll be joined by lawyer Eric Shytle as he explains the legal and historical background of the First Amendment…

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September 2021

First Freedoms in Captivity Exhibition Opening

September 8 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Due to the rise in cases of the Delta variant, and out of an abundance of caution, we have changed our exhibition opening from an in-person event to a virtual event. The date will remain the same - Wednesday, September 8th at 5 PM. Participants from around the country can now be a part of the exciting unveiling of the artwork created by incarcerated Maine veterans reflecting on their experiences with the First Amendment. The event will premiere on both…

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Twenty Years of the PATRIOT Act: Public Misapprehensions and Government Misapplications

September 9 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free

It's been nearly two decades since the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism,” or USA-PATRIOT act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George Bush. Created just a month after the tragic events of September 11th, the Patriot Act was considered to be an important aspect of strengthening national security. Its purpose was to "deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance…

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The Five Freedoms Series: Freedom of Speech

September 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free
Roosevelt Montas

Freedom of Speech with Roosevelt Montás, Columbia University The more freely a society can express itself, the more knowledge it gains and the more creative it can be. Benefits to be gained by free speech can be both political and non-political.  Core political speech is one of the most protected types of speech.  Benefits of non-political speech include the advancement of knowledge and the arts.  Over time, the meaning of “speech” has been broadened to include many other forms of…

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Banned Books Week: Program for Teens

September 27 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Free
Banned Books - Censorship for Teens Program

Are you reading something you shouldn’t be? Join us to kick off Banned Books Week with this thought-provoking and interactive virtual program for teens (ages 13-18). “You Can’t Read That! Banned Books and Censorship for Teens” is a free online program presented through both the Lithgow Library and the First Amendment Museum, both located in Augusta, Maine. In this online program, teens will learn the who, what, when, where, and why of banning books in the United States. This program will be…

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The Five Freedoms Series: Freedom of Religion

September 28 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free

Freedom of Religion with Vincent Phillip Muñoz, University of Notre Dame The first two clauses in the First Amendment prohibit Congress from making laws regarding the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. These two important concepts are related, but distinct.  Sometimes, they can even conflict with one another.  Debates about precisely what they mean have been going on for 200+ years and continue to this day. Join Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Political Science…

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October 2021

The Five Freedoms Series: Freedom of the Press

October 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free

Freedom of the Press with Gene Policinski, former COO of Newseum, founding Editor of USA Today It is no accident that James Madison’s initial wording of the Amendment specified that the right to a free press “shall be inviolable” because it is “one of the great bulwarks of liberty.” Indeed, the press has been called the “Fourth Estate,” or the fourth branch of government, providing a different kind of check on the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.  Join Gene Policinski,…

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The Five Freedoms Series: Freedom of Assembly

October 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free

Freedom of Assembly with Chelsea Miller, co-founder of Freedom March NYC How does the right to assemble work in modern-day American society? The original right to assemble for political purposes has expanded into a broad category of “expressive association.” The Supreme Court has emphasized the importance of the right to assemble, but it has approved certain restrictions. The justices have struggled with how to balance the right to assemble against other rights and the needs of the public.  A Columbia…

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The Five Freedoms Series: Freedom to Petition

October 19 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free

Freedom to Petition the Government with Molly Dorozenski, Change.org From the beginning, Americans have felt free to ask the government for action on issues that were important to them. The manner in which we bring those concerns to our elected officials has changed dramatically over time. How do Americans petition the government in the digital age? Molly Dorozenski is the Managing Director of North America and Australia at Change.org, where she supports Molly Dorozenski has a BA in English from Yale…

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The Five Freedoms Series: Supreme Court Preview

October 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free

The Supreme Court will return October 4th for its 2021-2022 Term, and the justices will be hearing 33 cases on a number of important issues. First Amendment issues are often at the heart of Supreme Court cases. During this term, the justices will be hearing cases on religious freedom (Carson v. Makin) and free speech (Houston Community College System v. Wilson). Hear from a panel of justices to learn more. Please check back as we continue to update this event…

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