Book launch scheduled for Nov. 4 in Indianapolis

Ad conference features presentations, vendors & workshops

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HSPA Foundation works to make First Amendment graphic novel a teaching tool in state, country

The Hoosier State Press Association Foundation initially funded a graphic novel to teach the concepts of Free Speech and a Free Press. It’s now working with the authors of “The Birth of the First Amendment” to make this teaching tool available to students throughout the state and nation.

“The Birth of the First Amendment” is the story of the trial of John Peter Zenger. Truth. Fake News. The First Amendment. It all started in a New York courtroom 41 years before the Declaration of Independence and 56 years before the Bill of Rights became law.


“ ‘The Birth of The First Amendment’ is designed to engage youth with information and tools to think critically, communicate responsibly, and participate as active citizens in our democracy.”

— publisher & author Donna Griffin


Journalists Donna Griffin and Gary Varvel have teamed up on this groundbreaking graphic novel that will inspire and educate a new generation of informed citizens and support journalism education across the country

Sponsored by the HSPA Foundation, “The Birth of The First Amendment” officially will launch Nov. 4, 5-7 p.m. at Shortridge High School — paying homage to the Indianapolis school’s role in journalism as the nation’s first daily high school newspaper.

Griffin is CEO of Griffin Media and Publishing LLC, publisher of “The Birth of the First Amendment. She is also the author of “The Twelve Days of Christmas in Indiana,” 2014 (Hardcover) 2017 (Board Book), a student media adviser at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis and director of the Urban Media Project, an initiative of her non-profit organization, Dani’s Dreams Innovation in Education Corp.

Varvel is a national award-winning syndicated editorial cartoonist who worked for The Indianapolis Star for 24 years of his 40-year career. He is a member of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame and author/illustrator of “The Good Shepherd,” 2014.

There is a real reason the First Amendment is at the top of the Bill of Rights said author and publisher Donna Griffin.
“ ‘The Birth of The First Amendment’ is designed to engage youth with information and tools to think critically, communicate responsibly, and participate as active citizens in our democracy,” Griffin said.

This 48-page graphic novel, now on sale nationally and internationally, is the first in a series published by Griffin Media + Publishing LLC and distributed by IngramSpark’s network of national and international partners.

Books will be available for purchase and signing at the Nov. 4 launch party with giveaways and discussions on the relevance of the First Amendment for young people today. Copies are also available at https://birthofthefirstamendment.org/.

For more information or questions, contact Donna Griffin, CEO of Griffin Media + Publishing LLC, at Donna.griffin@griffinmediaandpublishing.com or (317) 640-4430, https://birthofthefirstamendment.org/.

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