Remarks on civility and the First Amendment

Remarks from NFOIC's executive director, Kenneth F. Bunting, at the 2012 MizzouDiversity Summit on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus:

The opportunity to be on this panel was an honor, and accepting was something of a no-brainer if for no other reason “Civility and the First Amendment” is an extraordinarily fascinating topic. And, the overall theme of this two-day, biannual Diversity Summit: … “What’s Civility Got to Do with It? Engaging Effectively in a Diverse Community” is similarly appealing.
So, in my allotted ten minutes I am going to try to do the impossible.
I am going to attempt to try to talk about the First Amendment, … the direct and inextricable relationship between free speech and other First Amendment freedoms … with “civility,” “respect for the divergent viewpoints” and recognition of how diversity itself as something strengthens us.
These remarks were delivered at the 2012 MizzouDiversity Summit held Oct. 29-30 in Memorial Union of the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. The summit brings the campus community together bi-annually to dialogue and plan strategies which help strengthen the MU identity as an environment or culture that values diversity in its many ways and forms. The Civility and the First Amendment session is presented by the Missouri School of Journalism.