Freedom Writer Teachers


The Freedom Writers Institute is an internationally acclaimed training program for educators at all levels, professionals who work with adolescents, and professionals in leadership roles. 

At the Institute, Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers lead a full-immersion training of the Freedom Writers Methodology and accompanying curricula. During a five-day institute in Long Beach, California, participants learn the components of transformative education through experiential learning activities and real-life experience. Workshops focus on equipping educators with dynamic curricula and lesson plans, many of which are featured in The Freedom Writers Diary: Teacher’s Guide. Daily activities and trips to museums and educational institutions are intended to provide diverse instructional settings and contribute to an immersive experience with the underlying message that teachers are powerful agents of change. 


During Freedom Writers Institutes, participants are trained to implement the Freedom Writers Methodology, which includes proven teaching techniques and curriculum designed to improve student engagement and help teachers create classroom cultures that celebrate diversity and promote acceptance, respect, and inclusion. Research has shown that the Freedom Writers Methodology empowers educators to help their students achieve the following outcomes: high school graduation, post-secondary enrollment and completion, and transitioning into independent, well adjusted, and socially aware citizens. For more information about the Freedom Writers Methodology, click here

Who can apply? 

Education Professionals (classroom teachers, administrators, superintendents, coaches, counselors), social workers, and other professionals (community leaders, policymakers, directors of foundations) who can benefit from the training may apply to the institute. 

When are the next institute sessions? 

The 2016 Summer Institutes will be held on June 23 - June 28, 2016 and July 8 - July 12, 2016. 25-30 educators participate in each session. 

How do I apply? 

Candidates must fill out an application and provide vital information about the organization and environment in which they work. If interested in applying, please request an application from  

How can I support this program? 

If you are interested in sponsoring an educator to attend our program or providing operational funding, please contact for more information. 

Freedom Writer Teachers 

Upon completion of the Freedom Writers Institute training program, participants receive the title of a "Freedom Writer Teacher." Research consistently shows that Freedom Writer Teachers return to their jobs with greater job satisfaction, higher student success rates, lower student drop-out rates, and more passion for teaching and learning. After graduating from the institute, the Freedom Writers Foundation offers educators continued support and participation as a Freedom Writer Teacher, including monthly newsletters and conference calls with Gruwell. 

Becoming a part of the Freedom Writer Teachers Network brings additional opportunities. Freedom Writer Teachers have edited The Freedom Writers Diary: Teacher's Guide, Scholastic's On The Record, and they wrote the New York Times Bestselling book, Teaching Hope. Freedom Writer Teachers have been honored with numerous achievement awards, including the Teacher of the Year award, as well as the prestigious Milken Educator Award and the illustrious Spirit of Anne Frank Award. As of 2015, there are currently 450 Freedom Writer Teachers representing every state in the United States and over a dozen countries around the world. 

Freedom Writer Teacher Testimonial:

"We need to believe there is a more effective way to teach kids and Erin can and will teach other teachers how it's done, as she taught me. All of my accolades are a result of Erin's incredible influence. This program is a life-changing gift, both for teachers and students."

- Freedom Writer Teacher Maria Nelson, Two-Time Top Ten Finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award, St. Cloud Leadership in Education Alumni Recipient