The Tinker Tour is Giving a Voice to Tomorrow’s Generation

Mary Beth Tinker is a free speech champion, a determined changemaker, and an inspiring storyteller:

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Mary Beth and John Tinker (c)1968

Nearly a half-century ago, I was part of a small group of students who made history after we were suspended for wearing simple black armbands to school to mourn the loss of lives in Vietnam. At the time, I was a shy 13-year-old and history was the last thing on our minds.

But we did make history, eventually winning a landmark Supreme Court ruling in favor of First Amendment rights for students.

The Tinker ruling is still cited in nearly every student First Amendment case, and almost all American civics and history textbooks refer to it. In 2012, I was included in the book, 101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed US History, along with such notable figures as Rosa Parks, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King (heady stuff indeed for something I did when I was just 13!)”

Now, she’s ready to tour America and talk to students all over the country about free speech and civics education. But, she needs your help to make it happen

I made a difference with just an armband. Can you imagine what a 13 year-old today can do with all of the extraordinary speech tools available? ”

Mary Beth, along with Mike Hiestand, a man who has helped 15,000 students, teachers, and administrators navigate student speech issues over the past two decades, are going on the “Tinker Tour"—a bus trip across the country to promote the youth voice, free speech, and free press. $50,000 will go a long way in helping Mary Beth and Mike secure a bus or RV, pay for gas and parking, and cover other various expenses for 2 months during their tour. An extra $65,000 will allow them to extend the tour 3-4 months. 

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Mary Beth and Mike

Tinker Tour: The Power of an Armband—read more about this powerful campaign and help Mary Beth and Mike inspire the youth of America to get their voices heard.

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