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Former ACLU President to Speak at OU During Free Speech Week


Former ACLU President to Speak at OU During Free Speech Week

September 21, 2023

NORMAN, OKLA. – As part of the University of Oklahoma’s celebration of Free Speech Week, the university will host a discussion featuring New York Law School professor emerita, past president of the American Civil Liberties Union and constitutional law expert Nadine Strossen.

Strossen’s talk is set for 2:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, in the Associates Room in the Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave., on the OU Norman campus. In a conversation moderated by Jeremy Bailey, director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage and Sanders Chair in Law and Liberty at OU, Strossen will present “When Can Government Restrict Speech?”

Nadine Strossen.

Strossen, who served as president of the ACLU for 17 years, is the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law Emerita at New York Law School and a senior Fellow with the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education. She is a leading expert and frequent speaker and media commentator on constitutional law and civil liberties and has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. She serves on the advisory boards of the ACLU,  Academic Freedom Alliance, Heterodox Academy, National Coalition Against Censorship and the University of Austin.

“With her exceptional insights into the power of free speech and her prominence as a constitutional law scholar, Nadine Strossen has enlightened audiences around the world with her profound knowledge and impassioned delivery,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “We are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to hear her perspective on these foundational principles of our democracy and our academic enterprise. Her wisdom promises to further illuminate the path to understanding and progress, inspiring us all in our pursuit of knowledge and societal advancement.”

The National Law Journal has named Strossen one of America’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers,” and several other publications have named her one of the country’s most influential women. Her many honorary degrees and awards include the American Bar Association’s prestigious Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. In 2023, the National Coalition Against Censorship, an alliance of more than 50 national non-profit organizations, selected Strossen for its Judy Blume Lifetime Achievement Award for Free Speech.

Strossen is the author of HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship and the soon-to-be-released Free Speech: What Everyone Needs to Know. She also serves as the host and project consultant for “Free To Speak,” a documentary film series released on public television this fall.

Strossen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Before becoming a law professor, she practiced law in Minneapolis and New York City. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Limited seating is available by reservation for OU students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public. For reservations, more information and accommodations, email or call (405) 325-1701.

About Free Speech Week

The third week of October marks Free Speech Week, a national non-partisan celebration of First Amendment rights. OU will observe Free Speech Week Oct. 16-22, offering events and programming that emphasize the fundamental freedoms of thought and expression guaranteed by the Constitution. For more information, visit

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit