ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Augustana College held their biannual Symposium Day on Wednesday. This semester's theme was focused on civil discourse, with one keynote address discussing the importance of free speech and celebrating creative expression.
"It's an important skill to have as democratic citizens...we have to understand civil rights, human rights, and the importance of our ability to express ourselves and our willingness to advocate for those rights to our governments on behalf of those individuals who don't have the ability to advocate for themselves in the U.S. and around the world," Nicolas Perez, program manager of PEN America, said.
Last March, Augustana began a partnership with PEN America which includes workshops that help develop skills to sustain a culture that upholds free speech. PEN America is a non-profit founded 100 years ago, whose mission is to ensure people everywhere are free to create literature, convey ideas and express and access views, ideas and literature of others.
Augustana hosts symposium days once per semester, devoting a full day to an alternative approach for learning.