On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Freedom Writer’s Foundation president, Erin Gruwell, will be speaking in the Grande Ballroom from 12-1 p.m.
Gruwell became a high school teacher at Woodrow Wilson High in Long Beach, California in 1994 while attending college. She was introduced to many of the students that were involved in gang violence, juvenile detention centers and drugs.
Many administrators had written off these students as future dropouts, but Gruwell gave them a second chance.
She inspired many of them to change the way they thought about life and to consider their futures. Gruwell created an eventual positive change in the students and they wrote about their story in The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them, Freedom Writers.
Gruwell and her students have now raised hope across the nation about accepting all races and backgrounds. They together have appeared on television shows such as Oprah and Good Morning America. Their story has been printed in newspapers and in People magazine. Paramount Pictures released a movie entitled FREEDOM WRITERS in January 2007 about Gruwell’s experience with the students, with actress Hilary Swank playing Gruwell.
Gruwell travels nationwide speaking at different conferences about diversity and uniting different cultural backgrounds and races together. Her biggest accomplishments were done in the juvenile halls or inner city schools she speaks at.
Gruwell will be speaking for approximately 45 minutes, allowing the last 15 minutes for a book signing opportunity.
Gruwell will also be holding a question and answer session before her noon presentation. This will be held at SC 206 at 11 a.m. on the same day.