EngageEventsNavigating Inclusion and Freedom of Speech in the Classroom
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Past Event

Navigating Inclusion and Freedom of Speech in the Classroom

Photo Credit: Eric Sucar and University Communications

How can we both promote open discourse and protect students from harm? Join us for a community dialogue event that brings together educators + students from a variety of Philadelphia campuses – from high school to higher ed – to share insights and experiences from each participant’s unique context and perspective. Conversants and audience members alike will respond to Dr. Sigal Ben-Porath’s “inclusive freedom” framework for campus speech, which places equal importance on the right of all voices to be included and the right of all ideas to be expressed.

This non-traditional, participatory event will model a number of structures that support equitable inclusion in dialogue, so that all participants truly feel free to speak. This won’t be a debate, a panel discussion, or a series of speaker presentations. Instead, in the first half of this community dialogue, our invited conversants will engage in a facilitated conversation with one another, modeling non-hierarchical, equitable dialogue across difference. In the second half, audience members will respond to this conversation and engage with a set of discussion questions in small-group dialogues. Attendees will come away with new strategies for participating in and facilitating inclusive, open dialogue, as well as new appreciation of the unique complexities of practicing intellectual freedom in different local educational contexts.

Organizer and Facilitator:

Dr. Sarah Ropp is a multi-lingual teacher and researcher of dialogue across difference with 20 years of experience in cross-cultural communication, including diverse teaching experiences in the U.S. and abroad. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy and the SNF Paideia Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Featured Dialogue Participant:

Sigal Ben-Porath is Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Free Speech on Campus (2017).

Other Confirmed Community Dialogue Participants: 

Abigail Henry is a teacher of African American History at Mastery Charter, Shoemaker Campus, in Philadelphia.

Kate Conroy is a teacher of 12th-grade English at William L. Sayre High School in West Philadelphia.

Yasmin Abdul Razak is a second-year student majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics as well as Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Yasmin is also an SNF Paideia Fellow.

Lisa Baglione is Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Gender Studies Program at St. Joseph’s University.

Derek Nhieu is a third-year student majoring in Management and Social Impact in the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Derek is also an SNF Paideia Fellow.

Valerie Ifill is Assistant Professor of Dance at Drexel University. Valerie serves as a Faculty Fellow with the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement and directs several community based/engaged programs in the Dance Program at Drexel.

Additional participants to be announced! Check back for updates. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Andrea Mitchel Center for the Study of Democracy, Conversations Initiative at Penn.

SNF Paideia is following the University of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 guidelines. In-person access to this event is open to the public as well as the Penn community. All in-person attendees will be REQUIRED to wear a mask and MUST either show their Green PennOpen Pass (University of Pennsylvania faculty, students, postdocs, and staff or badged contractors) OR Green PennOpen Campus (all other visitors including event attendees) in order to take part in-person. You must complete your PennOpen Campus screening on your cell phone or computer BEFORE arriving. Click here for more information about PennOpen Campus and how it works.

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Capstone Event

Interested in learning more about the SNF Paideia Program? Join us for the Capstone poster session of our SNF Paideia graduating seniors.… Learn More