'1 for All' Campaign Kicks Off
WASHINGTON — Comedian Ellen DeGeneres will have another spotlight, in addition to her Emmy Award-winning talk show, to show off her famous dance moves.
Starting July 1 in a newspaper near you, DeGeneres expresses her right to dance as part of the national launch of "1 for All," an education program aimed at building awareness and support for the First Amendment and its five freedoms.
Only one in 25 Americans can name all five freedoms of the First Amendment, according to surveys by the First Amendment Center, a Newseum affiliate based in Nashville. Those freedoms are religion, speech, press, petition and assembly.
DeGeneres — along with singer John Mellencamp and journalist David Gregory — is part of a print, web and broadcasting advertising campaign that features Americans incorporating First Amendment freedoms in their daily lives. The ads show men and women exercising their freedom to rock, tweet, pray, read, report and dance.
"'1 for All' reminds the public that the First Amendment serves everyone, regardless of faith, race, gender or political leanings," said Ken Paulson, a founder of "1 for All" and president of the Newseum and the First Amendment Center. "Every time a person expresses a point of view, enjoys the arts, prays or posts a message online, the First Amendment is at work."
The nonpartisan initiative is a collaborative effort of educators, artists, journalists and other First Amendment advocates who believe that the public would benefit from a greater understanding of the First Amendment and the need to protect all voices, views and faiths.
Lesson plans, drawn from materials prepared by the Newseum and the First Amendment Center, are available on the "1 for All" website and are intended to help educators teach the First Amendment by showing students how their freedoms began and how those freedoms operate in today's digital world. The lesson plans can be used in history, government, civics, language arts, journalism and debate classes.
As Paulson sought wider support, some of the biggest names in technology, journalism and mass media quickly agreed to be "Friends of 1 for All." The program now counts nearly 1,200 supporters, including Google, The Huffington Post, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo! News and YouTube.
Supporters are asked to help spread the word about the First Amendment by downloading and publishing promotional ads from the "1 for All" website. They are also encouraged to create a 30-second video that illustrates the freedom to speak, rock or assemble. The best ones will be featured on YouTube and TV and become a part of a Newseum exhibit.
For more information on "1 for All" or to join its mailing list, visit 1forall.us.