• Home

[WEBINAR] What Professors Need to Know About Online Hate and Harassment

An online forum hosted by PEN America’s Campus Free Speech Program

This is PEN America’s first online forum in our webinar series, “Free Speech & the Virtual Campus.” More webinars will be announced.

Hate and harassment have proliferated online in recent years, posing a serious threat to faculty, students, and to higher education as a whole. With the shift to virtual classrooms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue has become urgent, as faculty and students may find themselves contending with increased harassment, including Zoombombing, or being targeted with messages from hate groups that operate online.

Join this online forum on Tuesday, April 7 at 4pm Eastern standard time to participate in a critical conversation with experts about what faculty need to know about these trends, and how they can prepare to both defend themselves and combat them.


Jonathan FriedmanJonathan Friedman is the program director for campus free speech at PEN America, where he oversees PEN America’s advocacy, analysis, and outreach in the national debate around free speech and inclusion in higher education. He served as lead author on PEN America’s 2019 report, Chasm in the Classroom: Campus Free Speech in a Divided America, and on the production of its digital Campus Free Speech Guide. Friedman holds a Ph.D. in international education from New York University, and has previously taught courses at NYU and Columbia University in comparative and international education, higher education, and social theory. His research on American and international higher education has been published in leading academic journals, and he regularly provides commentary on campus free speech issues for national news media. He has previously received awards for his teaching, research, and leadership.

Cynthia Miller-IdrissCynthia Miller-Idriss is an award-winning author and scholar of far-right extremism and higher education. She is Professor of Education and Sociology and runs the Polarization and Extremism Research & Innovation Lab (PERIL) in the Center for University Excellence (CUE) at American University in Washington, D.C. She is also senior fellow and director of outreach at the U.K.-based Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right. Dr. Miller-Idriss has testified before the U.S. Congress and frequently serves as a keynote speaker and expert panelist on trends in white supremacist extremism to global academic and policy communities as well as staff and representatives in U.S. and international government agencies and embassies. Dr. Miller-Idriss is the author, co-author, or co-editor of five academic books, in addition to Hate in the Homeland, which is forthcoming in 2020 from Princeton University Press.

Oren SegalAs vice president of the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Oren Segal and his team combat extremism, terrorism, and all forms of hate in the real world and online. Recognized as the foremost authority on extremism, the Center provides resources, expertise, and training which enables law enforcement, public officials, and internet and technology companies to identify and counter emerging threats. Segal joined ADL in 1998 after working for The New York Times and the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco. Much of Segal’s 21 years with ADL has been devoted to evaluating the activity and tactics of extremist groups and movements from across the ideological spectrum, training law enforcement officers, and publishing reports and articles on a wide range of extremist topics. In 2006, Segal was recognized by the FBI for his exceptional service in the public interest. He was named to the Forward’s list of 50 influential, intriguing, and inspiring American Jews in 2019.

Viktorya VilkViktorya Vilk is the director of digital safety and free expression programs at PEN America. With over eight years of experience working in museums and arts nonprofits, she is firmly committed to protecting freedom of expression and expanding access to the arts. Prior to joining PEN America, she worked on organizational strategy and development at the Art & Global Health Center Africa, a Malawian NGO that advocates for health and human rights through the arts. She has organized exhibitions, developed public programs, managed a collection re-installation project, and created innovative digital platforms showcasing art and architecture at the Jewish Museum, the Clark Art Institute, The Frick Collection, and the Courtauld Gallery. She graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a BA in art history and completed graduate degrees in art history and museums studies as a Marshall Scholar at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

Get the Free Speech News You Need

protesters in face masks carrying old Belarusian national flags

PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.