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TPF Signs Constitution at Saturday Event


June 26, 2022

NEW YORK -- Alongside art-making attendees, TPF Cofounder Isabel Tribe lay on the grass at Saturday’s Summer Sendoff, writing out the organization’s constitution preamble on a four foot high posterboard.

The four sentences of flowery script summarize the group’s goals: “As members of Teens for Press Freedom, we commit ourselves to defending truth in our communities and in our country. Coming of age in the era of alternative facts, we strive to uphold the institution of journalism and dismantle misinformation and disinformation online.”

After Tribe and fellow Cofounder Charlotte Hampton read the Preamble to the group of 40 New York high schoolers, students were invited to bring their sharpies to the front of the grass and add their John Hancocks. 31 teens signed the declaration.

“As students of the High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Isabel and I are history nerds, and wanted to have our Founding Fathers moment,” Hampton joked while introducing the signing.

“It’s important that we had a moment to distill what all our work the past two years has been about. As many of us graduate out of TPF and go on to college, it’s crucial that we have a foundational document that outlines what ideas future leaders should uphold,” said Workshop Team Director Isabella Lindsay.

The gathering included music by Gabi McBride, a junior at American Studies who played the electric guitar, featuring covers of the Grateful Dead, Taylor Swift, and Phoebe Bridgers. Claire Silverthorne, a freshman at American Studies, read the poem “Freedom” by Helen Hunt Jackson.

Graduating senior team directors – including Maybelle Keyser-Butson, Mia Cooper, and Lindsay – gave speeches reflecting on the work they’ve done with TPF.

Hampton and Tribe also shared their thoughts at the mic. Tribe said, “To see that something that was just this crazy dream that Charlotte and I had turned into something so physical, as you guys sitting here today, in 90 degree heat, on your summer vacations is really incredible.”

Hampton said, “I’m going to college next year, and I feel ready to leave TPF behind. But that is an act of trust in the younger faces in the crowd. I’m asking you to carry the torch and create something that is better, and more wonderful, than what Isabel and I are leaving behind. Because if you don’t fight for truth, who will?”


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