Suzanne Nossel Calls on Universities to Embrace Continued Commitment to Free Speech and Diversity

Suzanne Nossel (’97), Chief Executive Officer of PEN America, authored an opinion for CNN discussing how free speech is foundational to DEI efforts on campus, and how protecting these complementary ideals is vital to higher education and democracy (“DEI and Free Speech Can Go Hand in Hand,” Jan. 13). “[U]niversities must continue to dedicate resources and expertise to creating inclusive campuses. Such efforts should reflect all forms of diversity, including addressing antisemitism, Islamophobia, economic hardship and disability-related barriers that defy simplistic binaries dividing ‘white’ from ‘of color’ and ‘privileged’ from ‘disadvantaged.’ They should do the hard work of … ensuring that the drive for diverse identities does not come at the expense of diverse ideologies. . . . If DEI can become a force that enables students to abide discomfort, reach across divides, ask hard questions about individual differences and hear out the answers, it will serve not just students of all stripes but our democracy and society writ large.”