Regents: Protect Academic Freedom and Advance Racial Justice and Equality

To: The University of Nebraska Board of Regents

I'm asking you to reject Regent Jim Pillen's resolution related to critical race theory. Adoption of this resolution would violate our First Amendment Rights, injure academic freedom, and harm our collective efforts to advance racial justice and equality In Nebraska. This resolution sends a harmful message to University of Nebraska faculty, staff, and students: any discussion of race and racism could bring academic or professional consequences.

While the resolution claims to support free speech, it does the opposite by chilling classroom conversations of institutional racism and equity and singling out specific viewpoints, which the government is not permitted to do under the First Amendment. This resolution impermissibly chills peaceful free speech, free thought, and the academic freedom requisite to research and discuss challenging and important issues.

Regents, you should encourage and embrace robust thought, speech, and learning in our classrooms and stop playing politics with academic freedom. It's time to use the power of your office to advance racial justice and equality and honor the lived experiences of Nebraskans of color who proudly call themselves Huskers, Lopers, and Mavericks.

We're counting on you to lead.