Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Location: UW Center for Civic Engagement
Address: 625 Stewart Ave, Wausau Wisconsin

Loading Map....


WAUSAU – Is hate speech a constitutional right? Join WSAW Investigative Reporter Emily Davies and a panel of government and civic professionals as they discuss free speech, hate speech, and the constitutional limits to public speech.

“Over the last few years, we’ve had a couple of incidents locally – and all kinds of reports nationally – where whole communities were targeted with insults, stereotypes, and even violence because of their backgrounds, their religion, their skin color, or their gender expression,” Mayor Katie Rosenberg said. “I want to give our community information and tools so they understand protected speech and what they can do to create a more inclusive community.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, 2022 was the third time in the past five years that the year-end total for anti-Semitic incidents has been the highest number ever recorded with an increase of 36% over 2021.

“The Wausau Police Department works every day to be responsive to our community,” said Wausau Police Chief Matt Barnes. “Realizing that many community members are dissatisfied with our response to what they consider hate speech during more recent incidents, we’ve accepted the limitations of what our officers can do to address offensive and disturbing speech that’s also constitutionally protected. I’m hopeful this discussion will help our community learn and grow together.”

Panelists include:

  • Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul
  • Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg
  • Anti-Defamation League Associate Regional Director Trent Spoolstra
  • Jewish Community Relations Council Project Manager Allison Hayden
  • Wausau Police Patrol Captain Todd Baeten
  • Mount Sinai Congregation Vice President Andrew Lynch

Thank you to our generous sponsors the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point at Wausau Campus and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service, the Anti-Defamation League, the Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Council, the Mount Sinai Congregation, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the City of Wausau, the Wausau Police Department, Wausau Area Access Media, and WSAW-TV for their time, effort, and space for this discussion.

Panel details:

  • Date: Monday, September 18, 2023
  • Time: 11am – 1pm
  • Where: UW Center for Civic Engagement, 625 Stewart Avenue, Wausau, WI 54401