AOC to celebrate Free Speech Week Oct. 16-22 with several free events

AOC Community Media will celebrate National Free Speech Week Oct. 16-22 with several free events aimed at raising awareness of and celebrating the importance of free speech in the nation’s democracy. Because freedom of speech is a right that all Americans share, all events are non-partisan and neutral and are intended to unify Lafayette in celebration.


“At AOC, we believe the First Amendment is the anchor of democracy,” said Ed Bowie, AOC executive director. “Every day, we encourage our residents to exercise this right. Free Speech Week allows us to celebrate this freedom together and remind everyone that they, too, have a voice that deserves to be heard.”


Community Media Day also falls during Free Speech Week this year. Community Media Day is an annual celebration of voices that brings awareness to the importance of free speech and accessible media for all individuals to have their voices heard.


All of the following free events will be held at AOC in the Rosa Parks Transportation Center at 101 Jefferson St. in downtown Lafayette:


Tuesday, Oct. 17
6:30-8 p.m.
Free Speech Tees
Design the shirt and poster that gets everyone talking at AOC's first-ever screen printing and poster event. Don't forget your blank t-shirts.


Wednesday, Oct. 18
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Free Your Speech
Stop by AOC to pick up a free copy of The United States Constitution and to express yourself in a big way.


Thursday, Oct. 19
6:30-7:30 p.m.
Free Speech/Free Press Panel
Watch a live in-studio recording of a panel discussion featuring James Flachsenhaar, Gannett Louisiana vice president of news; Gary McGoffin, attorney; Christiaan Mader, The Current publisher; Sean Trcalek, KADN/News 15 general manager; Ed Bowie, AOC executive director and moderated by Sally Donlon, UL College of Liberal Arts assistant dean. The panel will also be aired live on AOC 1 (Cox 15/LUS 3).


Community Media Day
Free Screening of “The People vs. Larry Flynt”
Friday, Oct. 20
7 p.m.
Meet an unlikely hero of the First Amendment at this free movie screening. Pizza and popcorn will be provided. This movie has an R-rating meaning under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian, and the movie contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.


Anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Lafayette Parish can submit community-produced content year round for inclusion on AOC’s two television channels (Cox Communications channels 15 and 16 and LUS Fiber channels 3 and 4). AOC also has media facilities and production equipment available to its members. AOC memberships range from $25 to $60 a year.


To RSVP for any of AOC’s Free Speech Week events, email, go to or call 337-232-4434.

Ed BowieComment