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ACLU leader Sykes to present Curtis Family Lecture March 4

ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Emerson Sykes
ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Emerson Sykes

Augustana College will host the 2024 Ellwood F. Curtis Family Lecture in Public Affairs Monday, March 4, at 7 p.m. ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Emerson Sykes will present the lecture “Freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry in polarized time” at 7 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall at the Denkmann Memorial Building, 3520 7th Ave., Rock Island. 

The lecture is free and open to the public.

In addition to the lecture, Sykes will meet with Augustana pre-law studies students and visit a constitutional law class taught by Dr. Paul Baumgardner, assistant professor of political science.

"After having read a series of canonical First Amendment free speech cases in the opening weeks of the semester, students are going to have a wonderful opportunity to learn from Mr. Sykes about the practice of constitutional law today,” Dr. Baumgardner said.

Sykes' work with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project focuses on First Amendment Privacy Protections. He holds a J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar for Public Interest Law. He earned a Master of Public Affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in political science at Stanford.

The Curtis Lecture was established in memory of Ellwood F. Curtis, who served as president and vice chair of Deere & Company during his 42-year career with the Moline-based manufacturer.

Curtis was active in the Quad-Cities community and co-chair of Augustana's fundraising initiative, Agenda for Leadership Campaign. 

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