36th Annual Silha Lecture: “The First Amendment & Diversity: A Marketplace Failure?”

Humphrey School of Public Affairs
October 26, 2021 - 7:00 pm CDT
- 8:30 pm
Online only


The 36th Annual Silha Lecture is sponsored by the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law. It will be live-streamed on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, beginning at 7:00 p.m. CDT. The lecture is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.

Silha Center activities, including the annual Silha Lecture, are made possible by a generous endowment from the late Otto and Helen Silha. For further information, please contact the Silha Center at 612-625-3421 or [email protected].


Featuring S. Jenell Trigg, Esq.


October 26, 2021
Live-Streamed Event
7:00 p.m. CDT


Billions of people use social media platforms and have access to a 5000-plus-channel streaming and broadcasting universe, yet citizens are less informed than ever before. They select their preferred sources, often based on ideology and politics, but rarely seek out media options that challenge their preconceptions. Coupled with the lack of diversity in ‘media’ ownership and management, it appears that the concept of a robust ‘marketplace of ideas’ in today’s America has failed.


Can we change this? Diversity in the media by itself is not enough to elevate and reinvigorate the national conversation. But without welcoming disparate and even antagonistic voices, how can we hope to mitigate polarization and advance the core purposes of the First Amendment?


On Oct. 26, 2021, the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law will present the 36th Annual Silha Lecture, “The First Amendment and Diversity: A Marketplace Failure?” Our speaker is S. Jenell Trigg, Esq., CIPP/US Member, Chair of Privacy, Data Security & E-Commerce Practice, and Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Lerman Senter PLLC, Washington, D.C., where she is also chair of the firm’s Privacy, Data Security and E-Commerce practice.


Jenell Trigg’s remarkable career in media and law, as well as her volunteer experience working with numerous nonprofit groups, gives her unique insight into current issues of diversity and free speech. She began as a broadcast television sales and marketing executive whose advertising career spanned 16 years in the Chicago and Baltimore markets. Ms. Trigg then earned her law degree magna cum laude from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.


She worked at the Federal Communications Commission and as Assistant Chief Counsel for Telecommunications in the Office of Advocacy, U. S. Small Business Administration, before becoming the first African-American partner at Lerman Senter PLLC in Washington, D.C. She has been nationally recognized for her longstanding dedication and commitment to promoting minority, women, and small business ownership and employment in the media and communications industries, receiving lifetime achievement awards from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Multicultural Media, Telecom, and Internet Council.

Contact Info
For further information, please contact the Silha Center at 612-625-3421 or [email protected].