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Leonardo Dorantes Lecture

The Leonardo Dorantes Memorial Lecture was established in memory of a beloved second-year SBCC student and Mexican immigrant, Leonardo Dorantes.
Touted as incredibly motivated and respected, Leonardo died in a race-related tragedy in November, 1990. The Lecture Series was then installed in 1991 by the SBCC Foundation, designed to heighten the understanding of racial and ethnic differences and shared commonalities in Santa Barbara.

Please join us for the 2013-2014 Leonardo Dorantes Lecture on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 in the Garvin Theatre at 12:45 p.m. 

This year's speaker is the education activist and founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation, Erin Gruwell. 
Please go to to learn more.

Erin Gruwell is an award-winning teacher whose reputation for her commitment to the future of education is legendary. 
Her teaching began in room 203 of Woodrow Wilson High in Long Beach, California when she was thrown into a classroom of students who were labeled “unteachable.” 
Ms. Gruwell did whatever she could to help her students and ultimately had them keep a journal capturing their feelings and experiences of intolerance and misunderstanding. 
These were later published in a book called The Freedom Writers Diary.

By fostering an educational philosophy that valued and promoted diversity, she transformed her students’ lives. 
She encouraged her students to re-think rigid beliefs about themselves and others, reconsider daily decisions,
and to re-chart their futures.  Her impact for change caused her story to be told in a hit Hollywood movie, 
Freedom Writers, starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as Erin.

She is a graduate of University of California, Irvine, where she received the Lauds and Laurel Distinguished Alumni Award. 
She earned her Master’s Degree and teaching credentials from California State University, Long Beach,
where she was honored as Distinguished Alumna by the School of Education. 

Ms. Gruwell will be on hand to autograph her book The Freedom Writers Diary which will be available to purchase after the lecture.  

The movie based on Ms. Gruwell experience, The Freedom Writers starring Hilary Swank,  will be shown Tuesday, November 5, at 7:15 p.m. in A-211.  

Both events are free of charge and open to the public.  
Any questions, please contact me.

Cindy Salazar on behalf of the Leonardo Dorantes Committee
805-965-0581 x2278 

721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara, CA 93109-2394    Main Campus Phone: 805.965.0581    © 2014 Santa Barbara City College