In class last week, we watched the movie Freedom Writers. I had not seen the film prior to this and I thought it would be a lesser version of Dangerous Minds (not that I thought that was a very good film). I was also unaware that the film was based on a true story. In the end I found the film to be a pretty inspiring tale of strength and perseverance. I was compelled to do a little research on the actual Freedom Writers and their teacher Erin Gruwell and I came away even more impressed and with a great respect for the hard work and dedication the group invested in one another.
The movie led me to believe that Gruwell worked mainly with one class of students, but much like all of us in the field her student load and the actual group of Freedom Writers numbers one-hundred and fifty strong. Furthermore the Freedom Writers Foundation website reports that all one-hundred fifty Freedom Writers graduated from high-school and are now enrolled in college. It certainly stands to reason that in the case (and in many cases that I find inspiring) one person can make a difference; and it restores my faith that words and writing are can be powerful shapers of mind and attitude inside a brutal, oppressive system.