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Free Speech Week

The University of Oklahoma Free Speech Week logo, with people standing near a podium on OU's campus

The University of Oklahoma Celebrates Free Speech Week

OU celebrates Free Speech Week to emphasize thata variety of perspectives are welcomed and integral to the educational environment. This year Free Speech Week will be observed October 16-20, 2023.

OU President, Joseph Harroz, Jr.

October 11, 2023

Dear OU Community,
The freedom to speak, inquire, and express strikes at the heart of any great institution of higher learning. These First Amendment rights not only form the bedrock of American democracy, they are inseparable to our university’s mission as a scholarly community, where bright minds converge in the unbridled pursuit of truth.
This year, the University of Oklahoma will again join the national celebration of Free Speech Week, a non-partisan event held each year during the third week of October. The coming days will feature a variety of programming to commemorate Free Speech Week – a complete listing of activities is available below. Among these events is our Free Speech Week keynote discussion on Monday afternoon, with former ACLU President, New York Law School Professor Emerita, and constitutional law expert Nadine Strossen. You can learn more about Professor Strossen and her upcoming visit here.
To better understand why celebrating Free Speech Week at OU is so important, I invite you to take a moment to view the video above.
Fulfilling our university’s obligation to advance society by educating future generations of leaders and discovering new knowledge demands that OU remains a place that encourages robust discourse and the unyielding search for truth. Simultaneously, we must never abandon our responsibility to treat each other with dignity and respect, even when we fundamentally disagree. It is only by remaining committed to these ideals that we can find common ground and achieve progress together – not just at OU, but everywhere.
Live On, University,
Joseph Harroz, Jr.

Additional Free Speech Week Information

Campus Event Response Team

Learn more about the Campus Event Response Team and their role in Free Speech Week.

Free Speech Week Keynote

Did you miss the keynote address? Read more about it and access the livestream link.

Conversations with the President Podcast

OU's Free Speech Week Keynote Speaker Nadine Strossen joins President Harroz to discuss the importance of reinforcing and encouraging freedom of speech on college campuses and beyond.

2023 Events

The Paradox of Libel

October 12, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Gilson Lab Theater
2nd Floor Old Science Hall (capacity 73)

A book launch event for Libels and Theater in Shakespeare’s England: Publics, Politics, Performance (Cambridge University Press, 2023) by Dr. Joseph Mansky

Public Performance/Lecture

Event Sponsors: OU Arts & Humanities Forum, OU Helmerich School of Drama

Free Speech Week Keynote Discussion

October 16, 2023

Associates Room in Oklahoma Memorial Union

Nadine Strossen, John Marshall II Harlan Professor of Law Emerita at New York Law School and past president of the American Civil Liberties Union, will speak on the topic, “When Can Government Restrict Speech?” Read more about the Strossen event.

Event Sponsors: President’s Office

View Nadine Strossen Free Speech Week Keynote

Student Work Gallery

October 16-18, 2023

Gaylord College Hall of Fame

Visit the student work gallery to see Free Speech submitted work from Gaylord students including photography, videos and short films.

Event Sponsor: Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture at OU-Tulsa Lunch and Discussion

October 19, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Regents Room at OU-Tulsa

Topic: Free Speech and Fake News and Downright Lies panel discussion led by Professor Rodger Randle

Event Sponsor: Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture

Free to Speak Screening and Discussion

October 19, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Gaylord College Auditorium

This three-part series underscores how free speech is necessary for human survival as it presents thought-provoking, ironic, and often heartbreaking stories. Host Nadine Strossen is joined by free speech experts, critics, and defenders to examine its power and controversy historically and today. 

Free and open to the public

Event Sponsor: Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

OU Free Speech Archival Collections

OU Daily

Student journalism is a key aspect of free speech protected by the First Amendment and plays a valuable role on many college campuses across the nation. The OU Daily is a student-led newspaper on the Norman campus that serves the OU community through university stories, outlining news, and amplifying student, faculty, and staff voices.

OU Daily Archive Issues
Carl Albert Center Project

The Carl Albert Center partnered with the Oklahoma Historical Society, funded by Inasmuch, and recently completed a project to analyze and digitize the historical background and past projects of the OU Daily and past papers at OU.

OU Protest Archives
OU Daily: Protest Archive

To view how the OU Daily has reported on university events and past protests on campus, click the link below.


The Carl Albert Center political ad feature
Carl Albert Political Ad Archive

Political ads have long been a form of free speech and open discussion on issues facing our nation and communities. View the archive, curated by the Carl Albert Center, of political ads through the years.