I read a book entitled that once, but anyway…
Thanks to Amy at Tao Te Ching Daily who posted a comment on my Celebrating Bloggers post a couple of days ago, there will be 2 posts today 🙂
Now, I don’t normally, as you know, but, I really enjoy these Blog Hops, I love the whole idea that people all around the world are blogging about the same thing, on the same day. So if you ever hear of any others, do let me know 🙂
Today’s Blog Hop is Celebrating Womanhood and is being hosted by the Living, Learning and Loving Life Blog which I’ve never come across before. What a great title for a Blog eh? 😉 I’ll definitely be subscribing!
So the whole idea is that you can write about anything, as long as it celebrates women. So after some thought I decided to tell you about a woman who inspired me 🙂
There have been many woman who have inspired me over the years (unfortunately NOT a mother or big sister, but we wont go down that road lol). The first two who spring to mind are Julia Cameron, (it was thanks to discovering Julia’s work that I picked up a pen after, ooooo, I won’t tell you how many years lol) and Judy Reeves (who is most undoubtedly responsible for my love of writing at this present moment in time). But, one woman, who’s story truly captivated me when I first heard about it (just as i was embarking on my writing journey) was Erin Gruwell.
Name not familiar? Ok, what about The Freedom Writers Foundation or The Freedom Writers Diary ? No? Ok, my last attempt to jog your memory…. Freedom Writers the film starring Hilary Swank, with me now? Finally lol 😉
If none of the above makes any sense whatsoever please do check out the links. In the meantime, I’ll fill in the details…..
In 1994 Erin Gruwell was a new English teacher at a High School in California, assigned a class of “unteachable, at-risk” students. One day in class she discovered a note on which had been scribbled a racial insult and told her class that it was the kind of thing that led to the Holocaust (which most of the kids had never heard of!). The class then embarked on a study of Anne Franks diary, which led to the students seeing the parallels to their own lives. Gruwell gave them notebooks to use as journals, where they could record their own thoughts and feelings and they dubbed themselves “The Freedom Writers” after the civil rights activists the Freedom Riders. With funds the class raised themselves they managed to arrange for Miep Gies, the brave Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California.
Gruwell’s troubled teens turned into productive adults, some of them going into the teaching profession themselves. They now have the Freedom Writers Foundation to help share the methods Gruwell used with her students to other teachers and they have toured the world sharing the message of writing, which can lead to tolerance and empowerment.
It’s an inspiring story of “how a teacher and 150 teens used writing to change themselves and the world around them.” I was so captivated by the whole thing that I joined the web site, made a donation, and bought a handful of pens 🙂
I have one pen left now *sobs* but every time I write with it I think about those kids, inspired by one woman. Erin Gruwell, I wish I’d had a teacher like you, perhaps I would have started writing in my teens 🙂 I’m so glad there are women, teachers like Erin Gruwell out there who are encouraging kids to write, and that my friends is awesome! 🙂
Who are the women that you take inspiration from?