Future Of Free Speech On Campus

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Recognizing the need for thoughtful, constructive dialogue around the First Amendment and its impact on campus, the press, the Internet and beyond, the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement enlisted the Glen Echo Group to brand, organize, publicize, and execute its inaugural conference on campus free speech.



We set out with two big goals: 1) to establish the Center as the go-to organization on all things free speech; and 2) to convene press, policymakers, advocates and students to engage on issues of free expression and civic engagement in order to set the stage for future research, advocacy and collaboration.


With the daylong event #SpeechMatters: The Future of Free Expression on Campus we engaged press, policymakers, opinion-shapers and influential academics from across the country. Fully branded by our team—with key messaging, logos, signage, stage design, and collateral—the event featured panels and lightning talks, including speakers from academia, the media, government and civil society. Keynoted by former Governor of Arizona, Department of Homeland Security Secretary and then UC President Janet Napolitano, the conference also featured leading voices in the space like Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband. #SpeechMatters’ list of distinguished speakers included prominent journalists from NPR, The New York Times and The Washington Post, executives from Facebook and Twitter, advocacy group leaders from organizations like the Dangerous Speech Project and Feminist Majority Foundation along with influential academics representing UC Irvine, American University, UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UCLA, Purdue University and UC Santa Barbara.


With nearly 200 attendees, the event boasted standing-room-only crowds and nearly 450 livestream viewers from across the United States. The #SpeechMatters hashtag trended throughout the day in Washington, D.C. and the conference was covered in a range of publications from POLITICO and Arizona PBS to UCI News and The Daily Californian. The inaugural #SpeechMatters event was so successful that it has since become an annual occurrence and even transitioned to a virtual event in 2021 when COVID-19 derailed plans for in-person events. The most recent conference, #SpeechMatters: Fighting for our Democratic Freedoms, was attended by representatives of 163 academic institutions, 35 civil society groups and high-profile media outlets including POLITICO, The Wall Street Journal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Working closely with the Center, the Glen Echo Group was able to leverage this captive audience to promote season two of the #SpeechMatters podcast.


Daylong event




Livestream viewers

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