Universities can provide an environment for respectfully grappling with seemingly intractable and often divisive issues. Wellesley College is home to one such forum.
For the last six years, its Freedom Project has expanded opportunities for members of the campus community to engage on topics ranging from free speech with Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker to Islamic tradition with Turkish journalist and scholar Mustafa Akyol.
Its work continued this semester. English Professor and Project Director Kathryn Lynch explains that the Freedom Project’s discussions provide students the “opportunity to grow intellectually from the friction of opposition.” Texas A&M University’s Jennifer Doleac and Harvard University’s Jeannie Suk Gersen have already visited campus to discuss criminal justice reform and the concept and language of trauma respectively. Wellesley Visiting Fellow Shingirai L. Taodzera explored the current political situation in Zimbabwe. Later this week, journalist Emily Yoffe will talk about Title IX and the disempowerment of women.
Symposiums, reading groups, and various other programs take place on campuses across the country—all with eye toward inviting more conversation and inquiry. If you have an idea for a project, learn more about the scope of our grantmaking in the Foundation’s Requests for Proposals.