August 12, 2020

Virtual conversation on hate speech and social media is Aug. 25

Faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members from across the SIU System are invited to join a live virtual discussion on Aug. 25 that will focus on hate speech and the use of social media in higher education. 

The discussion, “A Conversation of Understanding: Hate Speech & Social Media” is from 5 to 7 p.m., Aug. 25. The meeting will be available on the SIU System’s YouTube Channel. 

A panel of institutional and student leaders will discuss examples pertaining to hate speech and the use of social media in higher education; what is and is not protected by the First Amendment, and how higher education institutions address the issue. 

The event will start with panelists sharing their experiences and stories, followed by a Q&A session where participants can ask questions or provide comments using the YouTube comment section. Questions may be submitted before the event by email to

The participants include: 

  • Dan Mahony, SIU System president.
  • Wes McNeese, SIU System executive director for diversity initiatives.
  • Lakesha Butler, SIU Edwardsville, clinical professor, School of Pharmacy.
  • Steve Macias, associate dean and associate professor, SIU School of Law.
  • Phyleccia Cole, SIU Office of General Counsel.
  • Elizabeth Jarnigan, SIU Carbondale athletics director.
  • Tatiana Kelley, SIU School of Medicine, student.
  • Prince Robertson, SIU Edwardsville, vice chancellor student affairs.
  • Terry Simuel, SIU Carbondale, student.
  • Vanessa Brown, SIU Edwardsville, associate chancellor for institutional diversity and inclusion, will be discussion moderator.

This is the second in a series of virtual exchanges where students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members can share their experiences and thoughts on a variety of themes related to diversity, inclusion and equity. 

The SIU System President’s Office and the SIU System Diversity Advisory Council are discussion sponsors.