“Freedom Writer” Manny Scott Coming To UAM March 4

Courtesy of
Media Services

MONTICELLO— Manny Scott, whose life story was told in part in the 2007 hit motion picture “Freedom Writers,” is tv_buzzworthy 10dbcoming to the University of Arkansas at Monticello March 4.

   Scott will deliver a free public lecture at 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center auditorium as part of the Governor Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture Series.

   A motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur and a Ph.D. candidate, Scott was one of a class of “at-risk” students from inner-city Los Angeles who were considered un-teachable. Scott’s father was incarcerated, he missed 60 to 90 days of school annually from fourth to ninth grade, dropped out of school at 14, lived 26 places by age 16, and suffered the loss of his best friend, who was murdered.

   When Scott returned to school, he was placed in an English class taught by Erin Gruwell, portrayed by Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank in the movie “Freedom Writers.” Gruwell used the books Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo  to teach her students about racial tolerance and understanding. She encouraged her students to begin writing their life experiences in diaries and the students soon dubbed themselves the “Freedom Writers” in homage to the 1960s civil rights activists “The Freedom Riders.”

   Thanks to the efforts of Gruwell, Scott and his classmates graduated from high school and all attended college. Scott holds degrees from the University of California-Berkley and Trinity International University and is a doctoral candidate.

   Scott has spoken to the Young Presidents Organization, Lions Club International, the U.S. Department of Education, Pfizer, Junior League, Inc., National Education Association, Texas Municipal League, and the Anti-Defamation League.

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