Past Events

First Amendment Days Celebrations

2022 – “Dare to Speak. Dare to Listen”

2021 – “Some Assembly Required”

2020 – Celebrated on social media due to COVID-19

2019 – “Express Yourself”

2018 – “Talk Is Cheap. Free Speech Isn’t.”

2017  – “Be Heard”

  • Keynote: Glenn Smith, “Shining a Light in Darkness: The Vital Role of the First Amendment in Community Journalism”
  • Events: Freedom Sings, Depth and Dialogue sessions, Democalypse March, Feast on the First


  • Keynote: Steve Thomma, “The Press, the Presidency and the Campaign”
  • Events: Feast on the First, Democalypse March


  • Keynote: Gene Policinksi, “The First Amendment in the 21st Century”
  • Events: Feast on the First, Caucus Cup Debate


  • Keynote: Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Civil Rights Pioneer: Iowa’s History of Advancing Justice for All Iowans
  • Events: Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, Government Spying: Threats to Privacy and Your Rights Online


  • Keynote: Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center
  • Events: Caucus Cup Debate, Poetry Slam, Freedom of Art Panel


  • Keynote: Ken Paulson, “Re-booting America: News for a New Generation”
  • Events: Caucus Cup, Poetry Slam, Freedom Sings, Freedom March, Greenlee Orientation, Feast on the First, Occupy 101: a Beginners Guide to Protests


  • Keynote: Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center
  • Events: Caucus Cup Debate, Poetry Slam, ArtWalk, Depth and Dialogue Sessions 


  • Keynote: Joe Mahr, Chicago Tribune investigative reporter, Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Events: Poetry Slam, Panelist Sessions, Depth and Dialogue Sessions


  • Keynote: Odell McGhee, Polk Country District Judge
  • Events: Freedom March, Depth and Dialogue Sessions


  • Keynote: David Satter, “Russia after the Presidential Elections: Is There Hope for Democracy?”
  • Events: Discussion titled, “Post Traumatic ‘Press’ Syndrome and the State of the Media,” Freedom March, Feast on the First, “The First Amendment in a Post-9/11 World”


  • Keynote: Helen Thomas, Former White House Bureau Chief, now a columnist for Hearst
  • Events: The Five Freedoms March, Depth and Dialogue Sessions, Speaking Freely: The Future of Talk, Satire and the First Amendment


  • Keynote: Bill Israel, “Stealing Reality: The Rise of the Right, the Fracture of News and Lessons Learned from Karl Rove”
    • Reza Aslan, “Political Cartoons, Cultural Sensitivity and the First Amendment”
  • Events: Freedoms March, Feast on the First, Creating Creative First Amendment Events


  • Keynote: Gene Policinski, Judith Krug, Michael Kent Curtis, “The First Amendment: Past, Present, and Future”
  • Events: Freedom of Expression in an Age of Fear, Guinness Book of World Records, Losing Faith In Faith: From Preacher to Atheist, A Religious Feast on the First Amendment, 100 years of Journalism Serving Iowa & the World, Petition- The Forgotten Freedom, Feast on the First


  • Keynote: Terry Anderson, Ann Cooper, Larry Heinzerling, “Attacks on the Press – Not Just Abroad”
  • Events: Feast on the First

2003 – “Freedom Sings”

  • Events: Performance by Freedom Sings, Feast on the First