Chapman University is excited to host a screening of Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart, followed by a panel discussion with Erin Gruwell, Carl Cohn (Attallah Distinguished Alumni recipient), Sue Ellen Alpizar (Freedom Writer), and Daniele Struppa. The screening and panel will take place at Memorial Hall on Thursday, February 28, at 6pm.

This event is free and open to the public.

Freedom Writer: Stories from the Heart, tells the story of Erin Gruwell and her 150-at risk students from Long Beach, California. In a community where the students were exposed to drugs and gang violence, Gruwell inspired her students to express themselves in a new way—through writing. The documentary follows their stories from their freshman year in 1994 to the present day.

Joining Gruwell and Daniele Struppa on the panel will be: Carl Cohn (M.A. ’72) and Sue Ellen Alpizar. Cohn directs the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, a new state agency established by Governor Brown, and has experience as superintendent of schools in the San Diego Unified School District, as a professor at the University of Southern California, as superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District, and much more. Alpizar, one of the 150 freedom writers, is an alumna of California State University, Long Beach, and currently works for the Freedom Writers Foundation.

Parking for events is available after 4pm in the Barrera Parking Structure on Sycamore and in the Lastinger Parking Structure on Walnut Ave. The cost is $2 for 2 hours and $3 for 4 hours. Parking Permit machines require exact change or credit cards.