The sixth season of the New Albany Community Foundation’s Jefferson Series came to a close with the debut of the New Albany Center for Civil Discourse and Debate program, a new subset of The Jefferson Series made possible by New Albany residents Barbara and Phil Derrow. The evening featured a lively discussion on the first amendment and free speech between Harvard Law Professor and Bloomberg Columnist, Noah Feldman and CNN Senior Analyst and bestselling author, Jeffrey Toobin. The discussion skillfully was moderated by former Editor and Associate Publisher for The Columbus Dispatch, Mike Curtin. As part of the day’s events, Noah Feldman met with 500 students representing 11 schools across central Ohio. Feldman talked to students about free speech and the role it plays in social media. Students asked thoughtful and provoking questions that they developed after reading both Feldman and Toobin’s books that had been provided to each school in attendance prior to the lecture made possible by donors of the New Albany Community Foundation.

“We’re in high school and we’re starting to develop our political opinions. I think it’s important to have someone tell us about considering the other side and what free speech could look like,” said Noah Malik, a senior at New Albany High School. “Having someone come in and explain the value of that is very important.”

Other participating schools included Columbus Academy, Cristo Rey Columbus High School, Gahanna Lincoln High School, Jonathan Alder High School, Licking Heights High School, Metro Institute of Technology, New Albany High School, Pickerington Central High School, Pickerington North High School, Pleasant High School and St. Francis DeSales High School.

The student lecture was made possible by New Albany Community Foundation Sponsors: The Barbara W. & Philip R. Derrow Family Foundation, Donna & Nick Akins Fund, Karen & Irving Dennis Family Fund, Redgrave Family Fund, Christine & Jeffrey Rodek Fund, Ryan Family Fund, Lynne & Steve Smith Family Fund, Leslie H. Wexner Jefferson Series Fund, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Conway Charitable Lead Annuity Trust, Beatrice Wolper, Trustee, American Electric Power, AT&T, Bob-Boyd Lincoln of Columbus, Cooke Demers LLC, The Ohio State University and Messer Construction.