Erin Gruwell is a teacher, an author, and an activist who has been fighting for social justice for over two decades. She first gained national attention in 1998 when she and her 150 students appeared on an ABC special– "PrimeTime Live" –with Connie Chung.
Gruwell's students - affectionately called the Freedom Writers - came from backgrounds of poverty, gangs, and violence, and many were at-risk of dropping out of school due to the school-to-prison-pipeline. But, under Gruwell's guidance, all 150 Freedom Writers graduated from high school and pursued higher education.
In 1999, Gruwell and the Freedom Writers published their book, "The Freedom Writers Diary," which detailed their unique journey from hardship to hope. The book became a #1 New York Times bestseller and was adapted into a major motion picture, Freedom Writers, starring two-time Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank as Gruwell. The film brought Gruwell's work to an even wider audience, and she has since used her platform to continue her fight for equity and inclusion with her non-profit, the Freedom Writers Foundation.
Gruwell's work has been recognized with several humanitarian awards, including the prestigious Spirit of Anne Frank Award. Gruwell and the Freedom Writers have appeared on multiple television shows to promote educational reform, including "Oprah," "The View," "Good Morning America," and NBC's "TODAY." They have also been featured on National Public Radio, numerous newspapers, and national magazines, such as People. In 2019, Gruwell and the Freedom Writers were the subjects of the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart. Gruwell also hosts The Freedom Writers Podcast with guests who are authors, activists and civil rights icons.
In 2022, Gruwell and the Freedom Writers Foundation released their latest book, "Dear Freedom Writer." This critically acclaimed book combines heartfelt letters written by the next generation of student authors with deeply personal responses from the original Freedom Writers.
Be it in the classroom, or otherwise, Gruwell’s powerful message of hope and possibility is sure to resonate with any audience, whom she encourages “to stand up, speak up and speak out.”
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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Erin Gruwell for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Erin Gruwell speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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