b'THE PITTSBURGHREPORT TO THE FOUNDATIONCOMMUNITY 21st Century: A Conference in Squirrel Hill about Our Nations Tensions with Freedom of Religion. Rabbi Ronald B. B. Symons, senior director of Jewish Life at the JCC, says the purpose is to better understand the friction between those who want to protect their own religious stance as opposed to those who would have a pluralistic understanding. Featured speakers were Nina Totenberg, NPRs legal affairs correspondent, and Michael W. McConnell, Mallery Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School.ONLINEThe National Constitution Center and its president and CEO, Jeffrey Rosen, played important roles inDRAWING LINESthe second conference at Duquesne and have since reinforced the Centers commitment to educationA WEEK BEFORE THE JUNE 2018 GATHERING,Pittsburgh about the First Amendment. In its five-part #1AUSAPost-Gazette editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers was fired podcast, the Center highlights key moments from theafter 25 years at the paper for cartoons that were, he said, conference and encourages listeners to engage with theconsidered unflattering to the current occupant of the Centers We the People weekly podcasts, availableWhite House. While Rogers firing is not an abridgment at constitutioncenter.org. of the First Amendmentemployers have the right to The podcasts are timely lessons about a livingdismiss employees who for whatever reasons are not document, says King and offer timely and informativefulfilling expectationshis dismissal can be seen, and has debates from the only institution in America charteredbeen viewedas having a chilling effect on free speech in by Congress to disseminate information about the U.S.journalism. Rogers was interviewed by Heinz Endowments Constitution in a non-partisan way.President Grant Oliphant at the June conference.Rogers skills as a professional cartoonist are unques-Kings final initiative has turned out to be a new beginning,tioned. He was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial or, as he refers to it, a revival-bolstering of the Firstcartooning for the work that resulted in his dismissal.Amendment in our region.The clich, Rogers says, is apt: Political cartoonists are It was time for the conference then, says King.the canary in the coal mine of democracy. Were the first And it is time for new attention on protecting Firstto go, he says. The fact that a community foundation was Amendment freedoms now. We heard the call to action.compelled to hold conferences about threats to the First The time for actionthe need for resultsis now.Amendment, I think, says it all. Its not just my cartooning colleagues who are in the coal mine, he says, referring toTim Ziaukas is a freelance writer.journalists generally. We are all canaries now. 11'