Twenty years ago, Freedom Writers Diary was released telling the inspiring story of Erin Gruwell and her Freedom Writer students. These powerful stories portray the lives of kids who were changed because of the efforts of Erin. Countless lives have continued being impacted and to celebrate these efforts PBS is releasing Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart and a 20th anniversary edition of The Freedom Writers Diary will be published.
Here’s the story if you are unfamiliar: Erin Gruwell found herself the teacher for a troubled group of students who had been dubbed “unteachable.” This is the tale of how this first-year teacher encouraged these wayward inner-city kids to redirect their lives and forego rampant drugs and the violence that pervaded their neighborhoods. From the stark reality of one seemingly innocuous event in the classroom, she sparked a chord in the students that led the class to name themselves the “Freedom Writers.” Over the course of a few months, Erin empowered the class to re-chart their future and go on to become college students, published writers and citizens for change. During the IDN Summit Inspirational Keynote, Erin will parlay her story and share her thoughts on how you can improve your performance and productivity by asking “what can I do to make a difference?”