The National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement

[Ambience of crowd cheering] The 1960’s. The University of California, Berkeley. The Free Speech Movement is born when passionate
students fight for their right to protest the Vietnam War, and express themselves about
civil rights and other political issues of that era. Freedom of speech – the ideal that sparked
this movement – is one of our nation’s founding principles. It lies at the heart of the American identity,
and has been studied, debated, and litigated since the birth of our nation. Generations of Americans have sought to balance
this right to free expression with civil discourse and national unity. Nowhere has that struggle been more prominent
than on American colleges and universities. Our nation needs an outlet to grapple with
the question of free speech on college campuses – and what it means for free speech in America
more broadly and that is why we are creating the National Center for Free Speech and Civic
Engagement at UCDC. The Center will lead new conversations supported
by top-notch research on these critical issues. It will bring together people of different
backgrounds, experiences, and views from across the country to apply the best legal, social
science, and other academic expertise to one of the most pressing issues in today’s America. Through the National Center for Free Speech
and Civic Engagement, UC will help move the conversation beyond sound bites to thoughtful
dialogue and meaningful action.

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