The Berkeley Liberty Initiative

Image credit:
Keegan Houser

Freedom of expression is a quintessential part of UC Berkeley’s history, and it is a fundamental necessity in continuing to achieve its dual mission of teaching and research into the future.

For more than a decade, the Berkeley Liberty Initiative (BLI) has promoted the diversity of perspectives at UC Berkeley. The Ambassador Frank E. Baxter Lecture that the BLI hosts annually enriches the university’s intellectual life by hosting leading thinkers whose expertise and scholarship focus on the ideal of freedom in political and economic life. And the BLI creates opportunities for our students and campus community through collaborative events with organizations like AEI, FIRE, and the Heterodox Academy.

Promoting Freedom of Expression and Respectful Dialogue

Over the past year, a group of devoted Cal alumni passionate about freedom of expression have convened to form the BLI Task Force to take the BLI into its second decade. In its next phase of growth, the BLI will focus on helping freedom of expression to flourish within UC Berkeley's campus culture.

To foster an environment in which open dialogue is encouraged and a diversity of perspectives is possible we are:

  • Building upon the BLI's flagship annual event, the Ambassador Frank E. Baxter Lecture

  • Backing the Academic Freedom Faculty Coalition, a group of UC Berkeley faculty who are organizing themselves to defend academic freedom

  • Bringing guest lecturers into the classroom to model reasoned debate

  • Expanding formal partnerships with external organizations

  • Deepening student involvement

  • Realizing this vision by creating a BLI Executive Director role tasked with overseeing this expansion

With Your Help

The constructive exchange of ideas is the bedrock of a thinking community. Safeguarding the freedom of expression that makes it possible could not be more important for UC Berkeley or for our society. At this critical moment, we ask for your partnership to forge a future that is true to our noblest traditions.

Would you like to learn more? Please contact us at

Berkeley Liberty Initiative