1. Who is Ward Churchill?
A prolific American Indian scholar/activist, he is longtime member of the leadership council of the American Indian Movement of Colorado. In addition to his numerous works on indigenous history, he has written extensively on U.S. foreign policy and the repression of political dissent, including the FBI’s COINTELPRO operations against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement. Five of his more than 20 books have received human rights awards. Former Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department until July 2007, he was a tenured Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado/Boulder, where he received numerous awards for his teaching, scholarship and service. Professor Churchill is currently suing the University of Colorado for violating his First Amendment rights by firing him in retaliation for his observations on 9/11.
2. What is Academic Freedom?
“By academic freedom I understand the right to search for the truth and to publish and teach what one holds to be true. This right also implies a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true. It is evident that any restriction of academic freedom serves to restrain the dissemination of knowledge, thereby impeding rational judgment and action.” — Albert Einstein
3. Why Protect Academic Freedom?
“The essentiality of freedom in the community of American universities is almost self evident. No one should underestimate the vital role in a democracy that is played by those who guide and train our youth. To impose any strait jacket upon the intellectual leaders in our colleges and universities would imperil the future of our Nation . . .” — Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, Sweezy v. New Hampshire (1957)
4. Why Ward Churchill?
“Ward Churchill is bitterly critical of the politicians, the military, and other government agencies, who have unleashed a wave of terror upon, people around the world. He does not mindlessly genuflect to the dead from the world trade center attacks, he explains as best he can, that such unbridled violence abroad lead to violence here. Churchill is not a safe or guild historian. He does not speak obliquely of the vanishing Indian or the glories of manifest destiny, he teaches of the madness of Empire, and from the position of the people on the periphery, the outskirts of Empire.” — Mumia Abu Jamal