Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk to host discussion on campus



Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk introduces Brazil’s right wing ex-president Jair Bolsonaro, at a TPUSA event at Trump National Doral Miami, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

By Lillie Davidson, PolitiFrog Editor

Charlie Kirk, a provocative conservative speaker and founder of the nonprofit Turning Point USA, will visit TCU’s campus next week to discuss civil rights, education, politics and religion as part of his “Live Free” college tour.

The event is hosted by TCU’s chapter of Turning Point USA on Monday and will be styled as an open discussion.

Kirk established the nonprofit in 2012 to “identify, educate, train and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets and limited government.”

In addition to chapter activities at the campus level, Turning Point hosts several national conferences annually, including the Student Action Summit and Young Women’s Leadership Summit.

“[The event] is open to people who might disagree,” said Chloe Appel, TCU’s Turning Point chapter president. “If anyone disagrees with him, they can come up and ask him the questions they want to ask.”

Kirk’s organization tours college campuses every semester, usually stopping at large public universities. TCU’s chapter has been trying to get Kirk to speak on campus since the chapter’s establishment three years ago, Appel said.

“Charlie was really involved in helping us get our chapter here,” Appel said. “Football was really big here this last semester, and following all the hype TCU has gotten, it kind of informed him to come to TCU for his tour this semester.”

In 2022, the House of Representatives deposed Kirk in connection to the January 2021 riot at the United States Capitol. Kirk invoked his Fifth Amendment right in response to nearly every question asked by the committee, including questions of whether his organization paid nearly $250,000 to bus participants to then-president Donald Trump’s rally at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C.

TCU’s Turning Point is prepared to face criticism.

“I have really high faith in TCU to be civil and respect the discourse going on,” Appel said.

The chapter president cited similar events held on campus in the past, including the 2016 visits by political commentators Ben Shapiro and Shaun White.

The event is free to all attendees and will be held in the Brown-Lupton University Union ballroom.