The Freedom Writers Diary By The FreedomWriters with

The Freedom Writers Diary By The FreedomWriters with

The Freedom Writers Diary By The FreedomWriters with Erin Gruwell About Freedom Writers Following the Rodney King Riots and the O.J. Simpson trial, the mood in our city was

unsettling, and on our first day of high school, we had only three things in common: we hated school, we hated our teacher, and we hated each other. About Freedom Writers We began writing anonymous journal entries about the adversities that we faced in our

every day lives. We wrote about gangs, immigration, drugs, violence, abuse, death, anorexia, dyslexia, teenage love, weight issues, divorce, suicide, and all the other issues we never had the chance to express before. We discovered that writing is a powerful form of self expression that could help us deal with our past and move forward. About Freedom Writers We decided to call ourselves the Freedom

Writers after learning about the Freedom Riders who fought against segregation during the Civil Rights Movement. When we began writing these entries as a simple English assignment, we had no idea that they would one day be collected and published in a book, The Freedom Writers Diary. About Erin Gruwell After recently graduating from college, Erin got her

first job in Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. Gruwell realized that her students had been written off by the education system, and deemed unteachable. About Erin Gruwell

The students at Wilson HS and especially in Gruwells class were living in a racially divided community. As a result, Gruwell created an educational philosophy that valued and focused on diversity and included material that was relevant to the students, which transformed

her students lives. On a daily basis, Gruwell asked her students to record their thoughts in a journal or diary. About Erin Gruwell and The Freedom Writers Inspired by Anne Frank and Zlata Filipovic (who lived through war-torn Sarajevo), Erin and her students captured their collective

journey in The Freedom Writers Diary. Currently, Erin serves as president of the Freedom Writers Foundation. She raises awareness by traveling nationwide to speak inside large corporations, government institutions, and community associations. Mission Statement The Freedom Writers Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1997, positively impacts communities by decreasing high

school drop out rates through the replication and enhancement of the Freedom Writers Method. Long Beach, California Although only 20 miles South of Los Angeles, 20% of families and a quarter of the population living in Long Beach, are below the

poverty line--including 33% of all children. USA Today named Long Beach the most ethnically diverse large city in the US in 2000. In a city of 500,000, 45% of the population is white, 15% African American, 12% Asian, and 36% Hispanic. Long Beach, California Homeless Shelter Homeless Area in the city

Wilson High School, Long Beach, California Even in a community and school so racially diverse, many of the students of Wilson HS experienced discrimination from others in the community because they were minorities.

Many experienced: poverty, homelessness, gangs, jail, crime, violence, lack of tolerance, and drug abuse. Wilson High School Through the use of her new philosphy and way of teaching, Gruwell was able to inspire her

students, helping them to pave the way for a start at a new future. Since graduation, The Freedom Writers are pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees, while continuing to share their stories and mentor students across the country about what it's like to receive a second chance. Information found at: www.freedomwritersfoundation. org

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