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Erin Gruwell

Erin Gruwell

Keynote Speaker: Founder & Executive Director of the Freedom Writers Foundation; Education Reform Advocate

Erin Gruwell Biography

Erin Gruwell is a teacher, an author, and an activist who has been fighting for social justice for over two decades. She first gained national attention in 1998 when she and her 150 students appeared on an ABC special– "PrimeTime Live" –with Connie Chung.

Gruwell's students - affectionately called the Freedom Writers - came from backgrounds of poverty, gangs, and violence, and many were at-risk of dropping out of school due to the school-to-prison-pipeline. But, under Gruwell's guidance, all 150 Freedom Writers graduated from high school and pursued higher education.

In 1999, Gruwell and the Freedom Writers published their book, "The Freedom Writers Diary," which detailed their unique journey from hardship to hope. The book became a #1 New York Times bestseller and was adapted into a major motion picture, Freedom Writers, starring two-time Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank as Gruwell. The film brought Gruwell's work to an even wider audience, and she has since used her platform to continue her fight for equity and inclusion with her non-profit, the Freedom Writers Foundation.

Gruwell's work has been recognized with several humanitarian awards, including the prestigious Spirit of Anne Frank Award. Gruwell and the Freedom Writers have appeared on multiple television shows to promote educational reform, including "Oprah," "The View," "Good 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, Gruwell and the Freedom Writers were the subjects of the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart. Gruwell also hosts The Freedom Writers Podcast with guests who are authors, activists and civil rights icons.

In 2022, Gruwell 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.

Be it in the classroom, or otherwise, Gruwell’s powerful message of hope and possibility is sure to resonate with any audience, whom she encourages “to stand up, speak up and speak out.”

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Erin Gruwell and other top speakers and celebrities.

Erin Gruwell Speaking Topics

Becoming A Catalyst For Change

Erin Gruwell helped 150 of her students - many of whom were written off by the education system - to use the power of education to write a book, graduate from high school and attend college. In her inspiring presentation, Gruwell tells the story of this extraordinary journey - from poverty and despair to hope and promise - with stops at Anne Frank's House and Auschwitz and then on to Capitol Hill and Congress.

Erin challenged her students to overcome the seemingly insurmountable problems of poverty, racism, violence. How can we all become role models for tolerance, respect, and cooperation? Erin Gruwell teaches us all how we can become "Catalysts for Change."

Nurturing the Leader Within

Teaching Tolerance

In a scene from the hit movie Freedom Writers, a film based on Erin Gruwell’s experiences as an English teacher to inner-city Los Angeles youth, a Latino student is drawing a derogatory picture of a fellow black student. Intercepting the racial correspondence, Gruwell is reminded of a caricature she had seen from the Museum of Tolerance—Holocaust propaganda of a Jew made to look like a rat. Drawing parallels between her students’ ignorance and the prejudice of the Nazis, Gruwell captures the attention of her class by pointing out the seriousness of their actions and the implications that can follow.

In a through-provoking presentation, Gruwell explores the very situations that have led us towards conflict in the past and how tolerance and understanding could have prevented such negative outcomes. A true proponent that one person can make an extraordinary difference, Gruwell inspires us all to embrace the concept of changing lives by teaching tolerance.

Achieving the Impossible: Become a Catalyst for Change

Erin Gruwell found herself the teacher for a troubled group of students who had been dubbed unteachable. The tale of how this first-year teacher encouraged these wayward inner city kids to redirect their lives, forego rampant drugs and the violence that pervaded their neighborhoods is the story recounted in the best-selling The Freedom Writers Diary. From the stark reality of one seemingly innocuous event in the classroom, she sparked a chord in the students that led the class to name themselves the Freedom Writers. Over the course of a few months, Gruwell empowered the class to re-chart their future and go on to become college students, published writers and citizens for change.

In a powerful presentation that leaves audiences cheering, Gruwell parlays her story into ways the audience can improve their performance and productivity by asking "what can I do to make a difference?" Gruwell speaks to the authenticity and stamina needed to fuel change. An emotional connection with your work and life goals is a powerful force that can produce an unstoppable vision against all odds. Gruwell speaks from her heart, customizing every speech to her audience and shares:

How even little events can fuel transformational change

How to develop an environment of trust and communication

Ways that individuals can become catalysts for change in their own lives

How to harness your own personal power and determination to accomplish success that others may not think is possible

Erin Gruwell Videos

Walden University: An Interview with Erin Gruwell
Freedom Talk #1: "What Storytellers Do"
This Teacher Taught The Impossible

How to book Erin Gruwell?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Erin Gruwell for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Erin Gruwell, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Erin Gruwell or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Erin Gruwell?

Booking fees for Erin Gruwell, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Erin Gruwell, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Erin Gruwell?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Erin Gruwell for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Erin Gruwell for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Erin Gruwell or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Erin Gruwell or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Erin Gruwell is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including College, Inspirational and Sports Motivation. The estimated speaking fee range to book Erin Gruwell for live events is $10,000 - $20,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Erin Gruwell generally travels from Long Beach, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Liz Dozier, Nikki Giovanni and Shannon Miller. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Erin Gruwell for an upcoming event.

Erin Gruwell Speaking Topics

  • Becoming A Catalyst For Change

    Erin Gruwell helped 150 of her students - many of whom were written off by the education system - to use the power of education to write a book, graduate from high school and attend college. In her inspiring presentation, Gruwell tells the story of this extraordinary journey - from poverty and despair to hope and promise - with stops at Anne Frank's House and Auschwitz and then on to Capitol Hill and Congress.

    Erin challenged her students to overcome the seemingly insurmountable problems of poverty, racism, violence. How can we all become role models for tolerance, respect, and cooperation? Erin Gruwell teaches us all how we can become "Catalysts for Change."

  • Nurturing the Leader Within

  • Teaching Tolerance

    In a scene from the hit movie Freedom Writers, a film based on Erin Gruwell’s experiences as an English teacher to inner-city Los Angeles youth, a Latino student is drawing a derogatory picture of a fellow black student. Intercepting the racial correspondence, Gruwell is reminded of a caricature she had seen from the Museum of Tolerance—Holocaust propaganda of a Jew made to look like a rat. Drawing parallels between her students’ ignorance and the prejudice of the Nazis, Gruwell captures the attention of her class by pointing out the seriousness of their actions and the implications that can follow.

    In a through-provoking presentation, Gruwell explores the very situations that have led us towards conflict in the past and how tolerance and understanding could have prevented such negative outcomes. A true proponent that one person can make an extraordinary difference, Gruwell inspires us all to embrace the concept of changing lives by teaching tolerance.

  • Achieving the Impossible: Become a Catalyst for Change

    Erin Gruwell found herself the teacher for a troubled group of students who had been dubbed unteachable. The tale of how this first-year teacher encouraged these wayward inner city kids to redirect their lives, forego rampant drugs and the violence that pervaded their neighborhoods is the story recounted in the best-selling The Freedom Writers Diary. From the stark reality of one seemingly innocuous event in the classroom, she sparked a chord in the students that led the class to name themselves the Freedom Writers. Over the course of a few months, Gruwell empowered the class to re-chart their future and go on to become college students, published writers and citizens for change.

    In a powerful presentation that leaves audiences cheering, Gruwell parlays her story into ways the audience can improve their performance and productivity by asking "what can I do to make a difference?" Gruwell speaks to the authenticity and stamina needed to fuel change. An emotional connection with your work and life goals is a powerful force that can produce an unstoppable vision against all odds. Gruwell speaks from her heart, customizing every speech to her audience and shares:

    How even little events can fuel transformational change

    How to develop an environment of trust and communication

    Ways that individuals can become catalysts for change in their own lives

    How to harness your own personal power and determination to accomplish success that others may not think is possible

Erin Gruwell Videos

Walden University: An Interview with Erin Gruwell
Freedom Talk #1: "What Storytellers Do"
This Teacher Taught The Impossible
ERIN GRUWELL ERIN GRUWELL Live Keynote
Becoming a Catalyst for Change: Erin Gruwell at TEDxChapmanU

Erin Gruwell Reviews

  • Erin went above and beyond for our meeting and we are forever grateful for her! She was incredible!
    Smile Source L.P. - Sep 20 2022

  • Our experience with Erin and the organizing team was wonderful! There is not one thing we would change. Teachers and administrators continue to rave about the day.
    Jordan School District - Aug 22 2022

  • I LOVE my relationship with All American Entertainment. I've worked with you for several years for our annual event and each year the customer service I receive is top notch. I truly can't ask for anything better. Thank you for all you do and for making our annual event such a huge success!!
    Vincennes University - Sep 26 2017

  • "Our event was fantastic! In all honesty it could not have went better. Erin is absolutely wonderful. I don't think I've ever met a more genuine, kind, and enthusiastic person in my life. The students in attendance were very engaged and seemed to hang on her every word. One of the counselors told me yesterday that the students talked about Erin's presentation the entire bus ride back to school. Erin definitely connected with the audience. During the Q&A, one student raised her hand and said "I don't have a question but want you to know that you're my hero. Thank you for making me believe that my dreams are possible". Very powerful moment as you can imagine."
    Vincennes University - Sep 26 2017

Erin Gruwell News

How to book Erin Gruwell?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Erin Gruwell for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Erin Gruwell, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Erin Gruwell or any other celebrity of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Erin Gruwell?

Booking fees for Erin Gruwell, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Erin Gruwell, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.

Who is the agent for Erin Gruwell?

All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Erin Gruwell for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Erin Gruwell for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service talent booking agency?

All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Erin Gruwell or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Erin Gruwell or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.


Erin Gruwell is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including College, Inspirational and Sports Motivation. The estimated speaking fee range to book Erin Gruwell for live events is $10,000 - $20,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Erin Gruwell generally travels from Long Beach, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Liz Dozier, Nikki Giovanni and Shannon Miller. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Erin Gruwell for an upcoming event.

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ERIN GRUWELL

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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

The 2022 Speaking Industry Benchmark Report