March 26 seminar in Daytona to focus on free speech



Authors, journalists, editors and publishers will offer a seminar titled “Speak Freely, Write Boldly,” on Sunday, March 26, from 1 to 4:45 p.m. in the auditorium of the City Island Library in Daytona Beach. There will be 10 featured speakers and panelists, question-and-answer sessions, and an open mic to support First Amendment rights. The event is free and open to the public.

The seminar is inspired by PEN America and its mission is to foster greater free speech and freedom of the press in light of recent controversies about false news and suppression of media access.

Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry is scheduled to greet those in attendance with a message on free speech. Jennifer Mansfield, a Jacksonville partner in the law firm of Holland & Knight, and a specialist on rights when using social media, will speak on behalf of the Florida First Amendment Foundation.

Two panel discussions
A panel on “First Amendment Freedom to Create” will begin at 2:30 p.m. featuring Dr. David B. Axelrod and M.B. McLatchey, Volusia County poets laureate; attorney Michael Pyle, author of of “White Sugar, Brown Sugar;’’ and Donna Gray-Banks, an author and sponsor of the annual F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival.

A “First Amendment Freedom of the Press” panel will begin at 3:30, featuring George Griffin, president of the Volusia/Flagler County chapter of the ACLU; NBC news writer/producer Ricki Stofsky; Dan Smith, author/historian and columnist for the Hometown News; and Mark Harper, Volusia team editor of the Daytona News-Journal.

Sponsors of event
The event, made possible in part by funding from the Cultural Council of Volusia County, is
sponsored by the Creative Happiness Institute and Writers Unlimited Agency. It will be held in association with Volusia/Flagler ACLU; Florida Writers Association; Armstrong Media Group LLC.

The Florida First Amendment Foundation is also a co-sponsor as part of its Sunshine Week, held in March along with hundreds of media organizations, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and other participants to engage public discussion on the importance of open government.

For more information contact Dr. David Axelrod at or 386-337-4567.


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