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UMFK to present Constitution program and faculty-led discussion September 28

September 23, 2005

NR05137

The University of Maine at Fort Kent will honor the U.S. Constitution with a video broadcast and faculty-led discussion on the topic of censorship Wednesday, September 28 at 3:00 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall teleconference room.

"Justice Talking: Free Speech in the Digital Age," will look at censorship in libraries, of textbooks, and on the Internet. The program will examine the reasons for both safeguarding and limiting speech, including the protection of minors and community safety, ensuring a free marketplace of ideas, and guaranteeing democratic institutions.

The hour-long special debate, originally taped for broadcast at the William G. McGowan Theatre at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., features panelists Floyd Abrams, first amendment attorney; Jack Valenti, past president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, and Lawrence Lessig, Stanford law professor.

Margot Alder, host of Justice Talking, moderates the program, taped as part of the observance of Constitution Day, which was on September 17.

Following the broadcast, the UMFK student services office will sponsor a faculty-led discussion on the topic of censorship and on First Amendment freedoms. Refreshments will be served. "The program will provide a good starting point for our discussion,"said Scott Voisine, UMFK's director of student services. "We are inviting students, faculty, staff and community members to join us for what should be an interesting and informative conversation about freedom of speech."

A federal law enacted last year requires all public schools and colleges to formally observe September 17 as "Constitution Day," the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

Schools are required to conduct educational activities relating to the Constitution on or near that day.

For more information on the Constitution Day broadcast and discussion at UMFK, contact Voisine at 834-7513.