Speaker Series

First Amendment Speaker Series

Our Speaker Series are live, online presentations that cover various First Amendment topics.

We invite various scholars, authors, professors, poets, and experts to present engaging and relevant talks that encourage our audience to ask questions and consider how they live their First Amendment freedoms.


From the Constitution to COVID: Religious Freedom in America

Author and law professor Mike Meyerson, a gifted storyteller and animated speaker, explores the themes and history of religious freedom in the United States, from the founding fathers to present-day issues surrounding COVID.

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Ryan Headshot

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Dream Deferred to a Nightmare

Ryan M. Jones, historian and Museum Educator at the National Civil Rights Museum – the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination – presents on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement.

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Regie Gibson

To Make a Poet Black: Notes from a Literary-Musician

In this hybrid of lecture & performance, Regie Gibson explores the creative power of speech in the modern Black spoken-word tradition. 

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Hasan Jeffries

Bending the Arc of the Moral Universe: African Americans’ Struggle to Live Their Freedoms

Hasan Jeffries, professor of history at The Ohio State University on Civil Rights and Black Power Movement, and author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt presents on the fight African Americans have taken to live their First Amendment freedoms.

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Ian Rosenberg

“The Fight For Free Speech: Ten Cases That Define Our First Amendment Freedoms”

Ian Rosenberg, author of The Fight For Free Speech: Ten Cases that Define our First Amendment Freedoms is interviewed by First Amendment expert and First Amendment Museum board secretary Gene Policinski.

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Bettye Kearse

“The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family

Dr. Bettye Kearse, author of The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family is joined by filmmaker Eduardo Montes-Bradley as they present Eduardo’s new film based on her memoir.

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chet lunner

Fake News, the First Amendment, and the State of American Media

Former Maine newspaper editor Chet Lunner brings a unique, 360-degree perspective of current affairs and “fake news” as a veteran journalist, 9/11 government spokesman, and crisis communications expert. He looks at the history and impact of misinformation, how Maine’s founders predicted the dangers of “alternative facts,” and some solutions that anyone can employ.

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Kate Dempsey

Speaking Up for Nature: Thoughts on Conservation and the First Amendment

Kate Dempsey, State Director of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Maine discusses the intersection of the First Amendment and conservation. She touches on the TNC’s founding by Rachel Carson, shares her own experience working as a community activist and Congressional aide, and looks to where this important movement is headed.

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The above links are from pre-recorded events.

Check out our Speaker Series event listing to register for an upcoming, live presentation!