Erin Gruwell, Tony Becerra, and Sue Ellen Alpizar were at UCI on November 1st to share about their book The Freedom Writers Diary and new documentary, “Freedom Writers: Stories of an Undeclared War” which will be featured on PBS next year. They were very excited to present the full-length, director’s cut version documentary that captured the heart of their experiences.
Tony spoke about the 2007 film and how he was present on set. He helped the production team select sites. Tony shared, “We were there for authenticity… the film was real, very real.” An Argentinian guest commented during Q&A about how “Education transcends the classroom” and thanked them for their work. When asked about selecting books for curriculum, Erin referenced her training at UCI and Professor Lupton’s influence with her passion for humanities. She shared “Words matter. They need to be relevant and culturally appropriate.”