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Erin Gruwell

Becoming a Catalyst for Change

About Erin Gruwell

Erin Gruwell is a two-time recipient of California’s Teacher of the Year. Her work with disenfranchised high school students received notice from media across the country, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and NPR, and accounts of her story have appeared in The Los Angeles Time and People magazine. As a young English teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School in  Long Beach, CA, she met students who lived with violence each day and who reacted with further violence and hatred. She responded to this reality by including such books as The Diary of Anne Frank and Ziata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo in her lesson plans and then encouraging her students to find parallels to their own lives. Her students’ insights and reflections are chronicled in the book The Freedom Writers Diary.


The Town Hall Forum will broadcast on this page of the website, and also on our Facebook page. It will also be archived here for future viewing!


Forums will NOT be live broadcast on MPR this fall. Instead, MPR will present the entire fall season of the Town Hall Forum as a special week of programs, November 29 – December 2 each day at 11 a.m. You can still listen/watch live here on our website.