Tufts University will present Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, as the 16th speaker in the Richard E. Snyder President’s Lecture Series on November 13 at 4:30 p.m. in Distler Performance Hall at the Granoff Music Center on Tufts University’s Medford/Somerville campus.
Members of the public can reserve tickets for the free lecture by calling 617-627-3787. Tickets for members of the Tufts University community will be available Monday, November 5 at Student Services in Dowling Hall.
Romero’s discussion at Tufts, “Sticks and Stones: Freedom of Expression and Political Correctness,” will look at the impact of the “political correctness movement” on the First Amendment and freedom of expression, noting that freedom of expression is not confined to speech but impacts what is not said, not written, and not thought. Romero will discuss the importance of pushing back the boundaries of free speech as new media and communications vehicles continue to emerge, as well as the definition of what is “acceptable” speech in the face of those who cry “dangerous” or “offensive.”
The ACLU’s sixth executive director, Romero assumed this position just seven days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Shortly afterward, the ACLU launched its national Safe and Free campaign to protect basic freedoms during a time of crisis. Under Romero’s leadership, the ACLU gained court victories on the Patriot Act and filed landmark litigation on the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody. Romero also led the ACLU in establishing the John Adams Project, a joint effort with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to assist under-resourced military defense lawyers in the Guantánamo military commissions.
Romero is the first Latino and openly gay man to serve as executive director of the ACLU. In 2005, he was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America and has received dozens of public service awards and an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law.
Endowed by Richard E. Snyder, who graduated from Tufts in 1955 and is the former chairman and CEO of Simon and Schuster, this lecture series was established in 2004 to bring to Tufts speakers who have challenged conventional wisdom in their professional work.
Previous lecturers in this series have included historian Niall Ferguson, journalist Bob Woodward, political philosopher Michael Sandel, psychologist and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self Sherry Turkle, physicist Freeman Dyson and author Michael Pollan.
- Information and photo from Tufts University