On June 1, 1996, over 300,000 people rallied in the Nation’s capital for Stand for Children Day.  Joined by movement leaders like Rosa Parks and Marian Wright Edelman, thousands of people took to the street to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the rights of children and demand our political leaders work to ensure and expand those rights.  

That rally would go on to inspire the founding of Stand for Children, bringing together educators, parents, activists, and passionate community members to advocate for children every day.  

Today, that advocacy looks like fighting to close the tragically growing opportunity gap and ensuring that historically underserved students have access to high quality schools in their communities. 

This Children’s Day, help us continue to stand up for children and their right to a quality education and a safer, brighter future.  

As an organizer at Stand for Children Indiana, I meet a lot of people. Sometimes I meet them in person and other times because I am placing a phone call or sending an email.

I met Dontia when I was calling around asking community members to support a local school district initiative. I wasn’t having a lot of luck that day, but when Dontia answered he was excited to support students who needed more resources to thrive in their classrooms. He also wanted to learn more about advocacy.

That was three years ago.

He’s now a Stand Indiana fellow and expert advocate. He has not only improved students’ lives in his local school district but also helped better youth justice laws in Indiana through sharing his story with legislators.

I know that every person I connect with is capable of creating the type of positive change that Dontia has, which is why I hope you’ll join me for our upcoming workshops!

These virtual meetings are a great way to learn about Stand for Children Indiana’s mission and team, what advocacy means and how to get involved!    

Tyre’k Swanigan (he/him) is Stand for Children Indiana’s newly hired organizer. Many advocates and parents associated with Stand Indiana have likely already met Tyre’k. He’s jumped right into his role with Stand Indiana by now co-hosting several workshops.  

Born and raised in Indiana with his parents and older brother, Tyre’k is passionate about students having equitable resources and a voice no matter their race, income level or ZIP code. This passion stems from his own story.  

In the second grade, Tyre’k moved to a new school on the east side of Indianapolis. The following school year, Tyre’k often found himself bored and distracted in class. He was removed from his classroom on several occasions. Looking back, Tyre’k felt there was a lack of representation in his school and the curriculum didn’t challenge him enough. When he repeated the third grade for a second time, at a new school, he was taught by his first Black teacher. He began to feel valued, confident and challenged. To this day, Tyre’k is grateful to that teacher and to his mother who advocated for him when he couldn’t advocate for himself.  

He joins the Stand Indiana with the same hope: to help parents and community members learn how to utilize their voices and make positive change.  Please join us in welcoming him to the team!