Wednesday 6/1: Civil Discourse Panel


On Wednesday, June 1st, at 7pm, Friends Select will hold a virtual Civil Discourse Panel on the topic of moderating social media. It will consist of political discussion and respectful debate among three experts in the field. The event will last about an hour and a half and will be moderated by Upper School students.

This panel is a component of Friends Select’s greater civics initiative resulting from a $26,500 grant from a Civics Literacy Contest conducted by the National Constitution Center, which was won in 2016. The Civil Discourse Panel aims to engage students through the power of civic and respectful debate. Each year, the panel chooses a relevant constitutional or political topic and brings together a team of experts of different perspectives to demonstrate a robust, civil conversation. The Civil Discourse Team is student run; the experts and debate questions are selected by students, and the panel is student-moderated. 

The Civil Discourse Team decided to focus on social media moderation as this year’s topic because it is widely accessible to students of many ages and backgrounds. Social media is an ever-present and influential entity in many of our lives. It is used as a tool for social activism, but is also known to polarize American political opinions. As the amount of time that children spend on social media increases, American people of all ages are exposed to large amounts of content daily. The Civil Discourse Team wanted to make the conversation relevant to Upper School students, Middle School students, and their families.

This year’s speakers are: Chloe Bakalar, political science professor at Temple University; Almaz Crowe, senior strategic communications strategist; and Samantha Harris, Allen Harris Law partner. Speakers will be asked questions like what legal and constitutional frameworks do social media companies have to work within? and what does the future of social media look like to you?

More information on the event, as well as a virtual registration form, can be found here. Make sure to register for free to learn more about the constitutionality and politics of social media censorship next Wednesday!