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SFL News & Press

UConn students who faced backlash on campus won’t give up the fight for free speech

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Students For Liberty member Isadore Johnson, who has become a target for threats and retaliation for supporting free speech and writing a defense of free speech in UConn, is organizing a free speech conference.

Mansfield, Connecticut — Students For Liberty activist and author of a passionate statement defending free speech at UConn, Isadore Johnson, is hosting a pro-free speech conference after receiving threats from peers. The State of Free Speech on Campus conference is set to take place on November 13, 2021, at the University of Connecticut campus.

Isadore Johnson is an economics and philosophy student at the University of Connecticut who is determined to improve free speech rights on his campus, despite the outraged response from his peers.

“I’ve always been interested in civil liberties. Recently, I had been following the Foundation of Individual Rights and Education, and they mentioned UConn had some unconstitutional policies. I thought it would be a good legacy of my college career to improve them. As I saw the reactions of people, I was shocked that the situation was a lot worse than I had originally thought,” — Johnson.

His proposed statement on freedom of speech and expression — submitted to the undergraduate student government last spring — was based on the well-regarded Chicago Statement. Opponents of the statement called Johnson and his friends racist, bigoted, and white supremacists, and sent them a video of an ISIS beheading. Despite the social cost, Isadore is committed to the cause and is organizing The State of Free Speech on Campus Conference this Saturday.

“This campus event is designed to broadly educate students about the situation on campus and to provide interpersonal ways of having hard conversations. The focus is primarily on how individuals can go about this issue,” — Johnson.

The conference schedule will be packed with various speakers and perspectives on-campus speech. It will take place in the UConn student union, in room 304, from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM on November 13, 2021.

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The event is open to the public. Members of the accredited media can arrange interviews with Isadore Johnson by contacting Mariam Gogolishvili, SFL’s Media Relations Specialist via email: [email protected].

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