Adams’ speech, “Your Constitutional Right to be Offended,” will be co-sponsored by Carolina Liberty Foundation, Carolina Review and the UNC College Republicans.
CEO of the Carolina Liberty Foundation and sophomore journalism student Alec Dent said hosting Adams will be well-suited to the mission of the foundation.
“As an educational nonprofit, the Carolina Liberty Foundation seeks to introduce students to viewpoints with which they may not be familiar, from speakers who are experts in their fields,” Dent said.
Adams has been criticized in the past, including when he published an article in September on the Daily Wire discussing a UNC-W student, Nada Merghani, and using the label “queer Muslim social justice warrior.”
In a November interview with The Daily Tar Heel, Merghani said she was scared for her safety because of the article.
“To use an LGBT person’s name and talk about their sexuality without giving them the opportunity to say, ‘Oh, maybe I don’t want the information disclosed because I might not be outed this, you know, at this particular level,’” she said. “Or I don’t want this information to be public.”
Dent said although Adams has a reputation for controversial statements, his talk will be something college students can easily relate to.
“You don’t have to agree with everything Dr. Adams says — and I don’t — to see that what he’s fighting for is good for all of us, and he may be conservative, but his cases set important precedents for how universities can treat someone of any political persuasion,” Dent said.
He said Adams has defended his right to free speech well in the past.
“He’s taken UNC-W to court on three occasions to defend his right to speak his mind as an employee of the university, winning each time — including one instance where he sued for full professorship, arguing that he’d been denied because of his vocal political views, an argument a federal court agreed with,” he said.
Sophomore Jake DiMartinis, who plans on attending, said he believes open dialogue is important in reaching resolutions and compromise.
He said he thinks everyone can learn something from the event.
“I think it’s really important to have open dialogue and debate so we can work through the problems we face in our communities and in our country, as a whole,” DiMartinis said. “But that can’t happen when as soon as a conservative opens up his or her mouth, he or she is immediately silenced and cast off as being ‘bigoted.’”
First-year Tarik Woods is attending because of his interest in free speech.
“Simply put, because I believe strongly in the First Amendment, I would like to hear what he has to say whether I agree or not,” Woods said. “Just because I don’t agree with his interpretations doesn’t mean I can’t learn from them.”
The event will take place from 7-9 p.m. Monday in Student Union room 2420.