Civil Discourse Series: Lara Schwartz

Lara Schwartz specializes in civil discourse and campus speech, constitutional law, civil rights, politics, communications, and policy. Drawing on her experience as a legislative lawyer, lobbyist, and communications strategist in leading civil rights organizations, Lara brings an advocate’s-eye view to her teaching. Prior to joining American University’s School of Public Affairs faculty, Lara served as Director of Strategic Engagement at the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy. Previously she served as Courts Matter director at Media Matters, Legal Director at the Human Rights Campaign, and Vice President of External Affairs at the American Association of People with Disabilities. Lara worked in litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom and Gilbert, Heintz, and Randolph. She also served as a law clerk to Judge Ronald Lee Gilman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Lara has appeared on national and local radio and television programs and written op-eds published in national papers and local papers of record. She is the co-author of How to College: What to Know Before You Go (And When You're There), a practical guide for students.

The title of her lecture will be, Why can’t we have both? Productive discourse is a skill worth mastering, not a limitation on freedom.

Our national conversation about speech and expression on college campuses often centers on a perceived tension between freedom and inclusion. Those who perceive US higher education as hostile to free speech or politically biased often point to inclusion and diversity programs as proof. In this talk, Lara Schwartz will challenge the freedom-inclusion dichotomy, explore tools and limitations on expression and inquiry on campus, and reframe productive discourse as a skill worth mastering, not a limitation on freedom.

Wednesday, January 29 at 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Masters Hall 110 Mara Auditorium

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Target Audience


Political Science Department, Public Policy Department, Eisenhower Institute
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