Saturday, October 7, 2023
Luncheon Keynote Speaker (12:20 PM – 1:50 PM)
Meal Ticket Required to Attend - Register HERE
Erin Gruwell
We're excited to have Erin Gruwell as our Saturday luncheon keynote speaker! Erin has earned an award-winning reputation for her steadfast commitment to the future of education. Her impact as a teacher inspired the 2007 Paramount Pictures movie Freedom Writers — starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank as Erin. The film is based on The Freedom Writers Diary, Erin's New York Times bestseller that chronicles her extraordinary journey with 150 high school students who dubbed themselves the "Freedom Writers," in homage to the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights Movement. By fostering an educational philosophy that values and promotes diversity, Erin transformed her students’ lives.
Erin's work has been recognized with several humanitarian awards, including the prestigious Spirit of Anne Frank Award. Erin and the Freedom Writers have appeared on multiple television shows to promote educational reform, including Oprah, The ViewGood 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, Erin and the Freedom Writers were the subjects of the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart. Erin also hosts The Freedom Writers Podcast with guests who are authors, activists and civil rights icons.
Erin founded the Freedom Writers Foundation, where she currently teaches educators around the world how to implement her innovative lesson plans into their own classrooms. Erin’s teaching methods from her time in Room 203 have been published in her powerful call-to-arms, Teach With Your Heart, as well as The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher’s Guide. In 2022, Erin 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.
Erin will be holding a book signing after her Keynote Session in the House of Friendship 
You will be inspired by Erin’s story of her ongoing fight for equality in education!

Educators, School Administrators, Parents, Students!
Join Southern Arizona District Rotarians at our Conference of Clubs to hear Erin’s inspiring story and learn more about the Freedom Writers Foundation!