Season 4, Episode 3 – Examining The Stop WOKE Act and The Threat to Academic Freedom in Higher Education

About This Episode: 

In April 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7, also known as the “Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act” or the “Stop WOKE act”. This bill prohibits teaching certain concepts related to race and sexual orientation in schools. This is just one legislative act across the country that attempts to limit academic freedom. So why are foundational American values, free speech, and academic freedom being increasingly threatened in academia? And what can higher education faculty and students do to protect their first amendment right to free speech?

In this episode, we will speak with the president of the American Association of University Professors about how to define these rights, campus activists who are involved in filing a lawsuit against the Stop Woke act about how it affects them personally, and we’ll hear legal co-counsel on how this case reflects broader legislative trends in America.

Featured on This Episode: 

Governor Ron DeSantis serves as the current Governor of Florida. DeSantis earned a law degree from Harvard Law School and earned a Bachelor's in history from Yale University. DeSantis served as a lieutenant in the United State Navy and later as Special Assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida.

Dr. LeRoy Pernell is a Law professor at Florida A&M University and the previous interim dean of the College of Law at Florida A&M University. Dr. Pernell earned a law degree from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Government from Franklin & Marshall College.

Dr. Irene Mulvey is the current president of the American Association of University Professors or AAUP.  Dr. Mulvey holds a Ph.D. from Wesleyan University and has taught mathematics at Fairfield University for 37 years.

Jeanette Nuñez is the first Latina to serve as Florida Lieutenant Governor. She earned a Master of Public Administration from Florida International University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Science. Lieutenant Governor Nuñez has served as an adjunct professor at Florida International University.

Johana Dauphin is a senior at Florida State University studying International Affairs with a concentration in Urban and Regional Planning. Her post-grad plans are to attend law school and continue to advocate for marginalized communities.

Eulalia Jiminez is a mother of 6 children, a holistic therapist, a small business owner and the Moms for Liberty Miami chapter chair.

Alexis Johnson serves as a Litigation Fellow at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Johnson received her law degree from Columbia Law School and received her bachelor's degree in English Literature from Yale University.


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