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Freedom Writers: “Stories from the Heart”
February 13 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Freedom Writers: “Stories from the Heart” is part of our Black History Month celebration. Meet Erin Gruwell, educator and author of “The Freedom Writers Diary.” This event takes place in Humanities 131.
Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart follows idealistic teacher Erin Gruwell as she tries to reach 150 at-risk students who were labeled “unteachable.” It’s 1994 and Long Beach, California is a racially divided community filled with drugs, gang warfare, and homicides. Inside the classroom, Gruwell encounters hostility, indifference, and racial divisions between students. The struggle and strife on the streets has carried into the school halls.
Refusing to give up, Gruwell uses relevant literature and media to compare their reality in urban America to the worst examples throughout history of man’s inhumanity to man. Her students are particularly inspired by the writings of Anne Frank and Zlata Filipovic, and ultimately choose to put down their weapons and pick up a pen. The once-hardened teens discover a new way to express themselves and embrace history, humanity, and hope. By sharing their stories, they rewrite their futures and become catalysts for change.