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‘Freedom Writers’ author and educator Erin Gruwell to deliver Edinboro Homecoming keynote address

09/20/2013

Famed author and educator Erin Gruwell will deliver Edinboro University’s first-ever homecoming keynote address on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 8 p.m. at Louis C. Cole Auditorium – Memorial Hall. A book sale and signing will be held at 9 p.m. following the address.

Gruwell is a well-known educator and activist whose innovative teaching methods inspired a generation of urban high school students to transcend their difficult environments by changing the narrative of their lives. Under her guidance, these “Freedom Writers,” as she termed her students, engaged in deep personal and cultural analysis by reading about the struggles of others who shared similarly difficult experiences and writing out their own stories to help shape and give meaning to their lives 

The Freedom Writers’ stories were published alongside Gruwell’s teaching technique in 1999 as “The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them.”

The book became a national bestseller, and Gruwell’s story served as inspiration for the 2007 film “Freedom Writers,” in which Gruwell was portrayed by two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Erin Gruwell to the Edinboro campus for Homecoming,” said Tina Mengine, Vice President for University Advancement. “Her innovative message about how to shape and give meaning to your life through education, compassion and commitment to change are things we value here at the University. I can’t imagine a better way to kick off our reimagined Homecoming celebration than with a keynote address from such an inspiring individual.”

Gruwell’s address is one of many exciting events planned for Edinboro’s revitalized Homecoming 2013. It's still Homecoming, but it's more. It's BoroPalooza, a weekend-long celebration of everything that we love about the University. Events begin Thursday, Oct. 3, and continue through Saturday, Oct. 5. More information is available at  homecoming.edinboro.edu.