Alumni Conference Explores Freedom of Speech

Alumni Conference Logo“The world is not a melting pot, it’s a salad where all the distinct flavors came into play,” said Ariane Hutchins-Newman `90, assistant dean, School of Health Sciences, attributing the quote to Stockton professor Jackie Pope. “Learning how to appreciate different lenses even when they are diametrically opposed to what you believe is the opportunity we have.”

Hutchins-Newman was one of four panelists who participated in the second session of Stockton’s Alumni Conference on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The yearlong conference seeks to provide ongoing opportunities for alumni to engage in open dialog about diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice issues.

The discussion in March focused on the relationship between diversity and inclusivity and the First Amendment principle of freedom of speech. During the discussion, the panelists examined the role of various sectors and individuals in addressing speech and expression that may be viewed as offensive and hateful, among other topics.

More than 50 alumni and guests attended the most recent event, which featured panelists currently working in various sectors:

Ellen BaileyEllen D. Bailey
Deputy General Counsel, Office of General Counsel,
Stockton University
Kevin CathcartKevin Cathcart `76
Former Executive Director,
Lambda Legal
John DeRoseJohn A. DeRose `07
Goldberg Segalla LLP
Ariane NewmanAriane Hutchins-Newman `90
Assistant Dean, School of Health Sciences,
Stockton University
Valerie HayesModerator: Valerie Hayes
Chief Officer for Diversity and Inclusion,
Stockton University


The Alumni Conference on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is coordinated by a steering committee made up of Stockton alumni, faculty and staff. The next event, titled Shared Governance, Institutional Structures and Anti-Racism, takes place Wednesday, April 28, at 6:30 p.m. To learn more about the conference or register for a future event, visit

--Submitted by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations