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TBA and UT Host 'Balancing Civility and Free Expression' Event
Program to feature 3 Tennessee governors discussing civility, effective governance
Three of Tennessee's governors -- current Governor Bill Haslam and former governors Phil Bredesen and Don Sundquist -- will headline a public forum on the issue of civility and effective governance Feb. 21 in Knoxville.
The event, sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association, the University of Tennessee Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and College of Law, and the First Amendment Center, will take place in the Toyota Auditorium of the Baker Center from 5:30 to 7 p.m. It is the final of three forums held across the state examining issues of free speech and civility. The forums are made possible by a grant from the American Bar Association Division for Public Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Knoxville event will focus on how society's competing desires for civility and free expression play out in the political and public policy arena, including on the campaign trail, during candidate debates and within legislative bodies. The panelists will use the life of Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. -- Tennessee's first popularly elected Republican senator -- to demonstrate how civility enhances effectiveness in the political sphere.
Memphis lawyer Bill Haltom with Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell PLLC will moderate the discussion. He currently is writing a book on civility and politics using former Sen. Baker as the exemplar.
In announcing the Knoxville forum, TBA President Jacqueline B. Dixon said, "The TBA is pleased to be a part of such an important project. We cannot preserve our democracy without finding the right balance between free speech and civility."
The Balancing Civility and Free Expression Initiative is designed to encourage a public conversation about the tensions between civility and free speech, the state of our public square and the challenges of maintaining civil discourse in a democracy. The program is part of Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy — A National Dialogue, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and conducted in partnership with the American Bar Association Division for Public Education. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association or any of their program partners.
Knoxville program partners include the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, the University of Tennessee College of Law and the First Amendment Center. Learn more about these organizations below.
American Bar Association
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association (ABA) is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. The mission of its Division for Public Education is to educate the public about law and its role in society. Learn more about the ABA Division for Public Education's Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy program.
National Endowment for the Humanities
Tennessee Bar Association
University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee College of Law
The First Amendment Center