First Amendment Days will put focus on protest

After a year of heightened activism, Iowa State's 19th annual celebration of the First Amendment will explore issues related to protests.

Organized by the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication's First Amendment Committee, First Amendment Days is the nation's longest continually running student-led First Amendment celebration at a university. It gives the campus community a chance to learn about and use the First Amendment's five freedoms -- religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

The 2021 theme is "Some Assembly Required," with lectures, workshops and other activities about protests scheduled April 12-16. All events are virtual, free and open to the public. Here's a daily rundown of the schedule:

Monday, April 12

In "The Power of Peaceful Protest," held at noon as part of the University Library's Monday Monologues series, two former ISU Student Government presidents will talk about their activism against the Vietnam war and as part of Black Lives Matter movement. At 5:30 p.m., the co-authors of a book about the topic will present the first of three keynotes: "The First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement: Our History, Our Present, Our Future."

Tuesday, April 13

From noon to 1 p.m., a panel of students activists, including leaders from Students Against Racism, will talk about their efforts to improve the campus climate. Author and designer Bonnie Siegler will present the second keynote, "Signs of Resistance: A Visual History of Protest in America," in a 7 p.m. lecture.

Wednesday, April 14

Take a shot at creating protest art in a one-hour, hands-on interactive workshop at 10 a.m. From noon-1 p.m., experts from University Museums will explore art on campus that challenges the status quo in "Art of Resistance at Iowa State: A Virtual Exploration." Nadine Strossen, the former president of the American Civil Liberties Union, will lecture at 7 p.m. for the third keynote, "Hate: Why We Should Resist it with Free Speech, Not Censorship."

Thursday, April 15

At 6 p.m., awards will be presented for the Pawsies, a short pet film competition. Cast a vote in the contest by April 9. Four hourlong sessions are scheduled earlier in the day:

Friday, April 16

In two afternoon sessions, high school and ISU students can view a live discussion about "Raise Your Voice," a documentary about student journalists at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the site of a mass shooting in 2018. First Amendment experts will lead three hourlong workshops: