Kenneth A. Paulson (1953–), director of the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University and former president of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, has developed and led several national programs to increase understanding of the First Amendment and its role in society. Paulson is former editor in chief of USA Today and former dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University.

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The Woke Movement and Backlash

“Woke” refers to being aware of the society around you and speaking up for needed change or against perceived injustice. The word suggests someone who has been oblivious to social issues, but then awakens to see the world differently. Tools to effect change would include the First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, petition and assembly.   […]

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech is the most readily recognized of the five freedoms in the First Amendment and the only one that’s known by a majority of Americans. That’s not a surprise; it’s also the First Amendment freedom that most of us use every day and all day.  Like the other guarantees in the Bill of […]

Divisive Concepts

Several state legislators passed laws in 2021 and 2022 limiting the discussion of race in public schools, raising questions about free speech and academic freedom.