Podcast by Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers
#69: Tresor Rusesabagina
On this episode, Erin Gruwell is joined by Tresor Rusesabagina, the son of humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina. Tresor updates us on his father Paul’s kidnapping in August 2020 by the Rwandan government and shares how we can help #FreeRusesabagina. Tresor’s bravery and determination are incredibly powerful, and we hope this episode will leave you feeling enlightened and empowered to make a difference.
Podcast with Rusesabagina Family: https://soundcloud.com/user-626834306/57-freerusesabagina
Learn More About Paul's Fight for Freedom: http://www.HRRFoundation.com
#68: Kate Nash - An Outsider's Perspective
On this episode, Erin Gruwell is joined by actor, activist, and singer/songwriter Kate Nash. They discuss how Kate uses art to connect with fans from all walks of life and how she learned to use her voice to fight for change. Kate’s stories and industry insights are incredibly powerful, and we hope this episode will leave you feeling enlightened and empowered to make a difference.
#67: Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day (w/ Freedom Writer Teacher Candace Houle)
On this episode, Erin Gruwell speaks with Candace Houle, a member of the Cree Nation and a beloved Freedom Writer Teacher. They discuss Candace’s experiences growing up as a First Nation in Canada, the historical interactions between the indigenous culture and European settlers, and the recent revelations about the mistreatment of First Nations at residential schools.
#66: Temple Grandin - The Autism Spectrum
In this week's episode, Erin Gruwell speaks with Temple Grandin, animal behaviorist and autism advocate Temple Grandin. They discuss Temple's childhood growing up on the autism spectrum and how her unique perspective as a visual learner informed her views on how to improve the educational system, and advocate for the humane treatment of animals.
Learn more about Temple Grandin: http://www.templegrandin.com/
#65: Letters to Strangers with Diana Chao
In this week's episode, Erin Gruwell speaks with Diana Chao, the founder of Letters to Strangers. Letters to Strangers is a global youth-run nonprofit which seeks to destigmatize mental illness and increase access to affordable, quality treatment for youth aged 13 to 24. They discuss Diana’s experiences as a first generation immigrant struggling with bipolar disorder, and how she turned her pain into purpose by encouraging others to write their truth.
Learn more about Letters to Strangers: https://bit.ly/3AcMgYB
#64: Remembering Matthew Shepard w/ LGBTQ Activist Judy Shepard
On this week's episode, join Erin Gruwell for a candid conversation about healing after tragedy with the impactful LGBTQIA+ advocate and activist, Judy Shepard. Judy is the mother of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay student who was savagely tortured, tied to a fence and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming in October of 1998. In the wake of his loss, Judy and her husband embarked on a campaign for change - one that took her from her humble hometown in Wyoming, to the highest office in the land, the White House. She has been instrumental in enacting meaningful hate crime legislation on behalf of her son and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Learn more about the Matthew Shepard Foundation: https://www.matthewshepard.org/
Every episode is a gold mine of not only inspiration, but also meaningful classroom content.
I just watched the movie and now I want to read the book with everything going on now in 2020 this movie has opened my eyes a lot more now. We need more teachers like Ms. G, that actually believes in students and talks relates different things to students.
Inspiring and Encouraging
It was the Freedom Writer’s Diary that inspired me to get back into urban education and day-to-day teaching five years ago. I took a detour of sorts that I needed that didn’t take me directly into an urbane classroom right away. But, after those five years, I am now working in an inner city middle school classroom. As I searched for podcasts to inspire and encourage, I came across Freedom Writers Foundation here. To hear the stories for the 20 year anniversary encourages me forward to stay in the trenches and continually dedicate my heart for my students. I take these podcasts on my walk/runs to help me forward in my calling. Thank you for the vulnerability and honesty coupled with the dedication and heart that makes you write forward with freedom in your pens because there is freedom in your hearts!