The Free Speech Center

First Amendment News and Insights from MTSU

Our story so far.

History of 1 for All

A History of 1 for All: Our story so far 


A group of educators, journalists, lawyers, authors, artists, librarians and others gathers outside Chicago to explore ways to build support and understanding of the First Amendment. They commit to a campaign designed to promote our core freedoms through education and advertising.  The American Society of News Editors, First Amendment Center, Knight Foundation, McCormick Foundation and the Newseum are founding partners. 


The campaign launches an ambitious series of First Amendment festivals on college campuses, funded by the McCormick Foundation. These Liberty Tree Initiative programs would run nationwide for the next five years, reaching hundreds of thousands of students. 


Guided by focus groups and research funded by the Knight Foundation, the First Amendment campaign is named 1 for All, reminding us that one amendment to the U.S. Constitution enriches all of our lives daily.


1 for All launches a national marketing campaign featuring such celebrities as Ellen DeGeneres, Brad Paisley, John Mellencamp, Blake Shelton and Ke$ha.  More than 1,100 organizations and media step up with their support, spreading the word and building awareness.


1 for All creates the Great First Amendment Quiz in partnership with USA Today and the First Amendment Center. The online, interactive quiz proves very popular and continues to test Americans’ “freedom IQ.”  

On Dec. 15, 1 for All launches the first Free to Tweet competition, challenging young Americans to tweet about freedom and compete for 22 $5,000 scholarships. The White House tweets about the campaign. 1 for All ads feature such celebrities as Ellen DeGeneres, Brad Paisley, John Mellencamp, Blake Shelton and Ke$ha. The campaign also publishes a teacher’s guide to teaching about the First Amendment using social media.


Free to Tweet II encourages students to identify their most valued freedom in the First Amendment and tweet about it. Five students are awarded scholarships.


The 1 for All First Amendment Festival events shift from campuses to high schools, laying the foundation for a broader educational initiative.


The Great First Amendment Challenge asks America’s high school teachers to share their very best ways to teach about First Amendment freedoms. The competition, which encourages innovation and creativity in the classroom, runs through March 1, 2015. The challenge is coordinated by the American Society of News Editors’ Youth Journalism Initiative. 


1 for All was a partner in the distribution of “Freedom Sings,” a documentary about free speech and music produced by the First Amendment Center and Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Media and Entertainment. The DVD is free to classroom teachers.


1 for All relocated to the campus of Middle Tennessee State University and became part of the John Seigenthaler Chair for Excellence in First Amendment Studies.


1 for All moves to the newly launched Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University and begins a new round of campus events across the United States.

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