“Freed Speech,” the next in a series of lectures and forums on the topic of civil discourse, will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, in Woulfe Alumni Hall in the Anderson Student Center, located on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

Co-sponsored by Target and St. Thomas’ College of Arts and Sciences, “Freed Speech” has its roots in the college’s annual lectures on civil discourse and other initiatives to address the widespread and growing lack of civility in discourse in U.S. society.

The topic on April 17 will be “listening with civility.” Leading the discussion will be moderator Nate Garvis, co-founder of Studio/E, an entrepreneurial program for top-tier leaders conducted quarterly out of St. Paul’s James J. Hill Library. Garvis is a former Target vice president and author of Naked Civics.

Panelists will be Kevin Beacham, marketing specialist for Rhymesayers Entertainment; Dr. Kurt Illig, director of neuroscience at St. Thomas; and Dr. Simone Ahuja, co-author of Jugaad Innovation.

The forum is free and open to the public; however, space is limited so guests must register beforehand.

The College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with its board of advisers, launched the civil discourse series with a 2010 lecture by Jon Meacham, then editor of Newsweek. Other speakers have been Harvard political philosopher Dr. Michael Sandel and Georgetown linguistics professor Dr. Deborah Tannen, author of The Argument Culture.

The first program in the series’ “Freed Speech” format was held at Pantages Theater in Minneapolis last November and featured news anchor Soledad O’Brien.