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Freedom Writers Put Down Fists and Guns in Favor of Pens and Paper 

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Documentary shows the journey of 150 students everyone had written off – until one teacher changed their lives. 


The documentary Freedom Writers: Stories from an Undeclared War will be screened at the James R. Armstrong Theatre on Friday, January 13, 2017, at 8:00 pm.  A conversation with Erin Gruwell and several of the original Freedom Writers will immediately follow the screening. 

Freedom Writers: Stories from an Undeclared War was a documentary that was 20 year in the making.  It follows 150 at-risk students from Long Beach, CA, who were considered “untouchable” and “unteachable” by their high school.  Erin Gruwell, a fresh-faced new teacher, was determined to make a difference in her students’ lives.  And she did.  All 150 of her students graduated from high school, at a time when most of them weren’t expected to make it through the 9th grade. 

How did she help them save themselves?  By building a safe space and introducing them to literature written by teens whose experiences closely mirrored their own.  “I chose great storytellers who were survivors to inspire my students to take their own stories and write them down,” Ms. Gruwell said. 

The documentary follows the 150 Freedom Writers from 1994 to the present day, and shows their journey from Long Beach to Washington D.C., where they traveled to share their experiences with politicians they hoped to make real change.   

After the screening viewers will be able to participate in a conversation with Ms. Gruwell and some of her original students. 

Tickets for this screening on January 13, 2017, range from $20-$30 and seats are still available. Purchase tickets at the James R. Armstrong Theatre box office located at 3330 Civic Center Drive N, Torrance, CA 90503, by calling (310) 781-7171, or online here. 

About the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation:  TOCA works with the City of Torrance to provide high-quality, culturally diverse, educational, and entertaining experiences for the community.  We strive to enrich the lives of those in the South Bay through the performing arts. 

Media Contacts:

person_outline  Full Name:Christian Wolf
phone  Phone Number:(310) 378-8100
business_center  Company:Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation
language  Website:
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