OC Working Together

OC Working Together UCI and United Way image

On October 1, UCI and Orange County United Way co-hosted the first OC Working Together summit, a collaborative campaign to help the county’s least fortunate.  More than 200 participants gathered for the daylong summit, including UCI faculty and graduate students, chief executives from Orange County’s leading nonprofits, and city and county officials.  Freedom Writers Foundation founder and Erin Gruwell ’91 delivered a passionate keynote presentation on her experience as a teacher working for underprivileged students and her transition into establishing her nonprofit organization. 

Chancellor Howard Gillman with community leaders
Left to right: Orange County United Way President Max Gardner, Freedom Writers Founder Erin Gruwell, Chancellor Howard Gillman, Project Hope Alliance CEO Jennifer Friend and National Community Renaissance (National CORE) Executive Vice President Michael Ruane. Photos by Steve Zylius, UCI Communications.

Chancellor Howard Gillman speaks with Freedom Writers students
Chancellor Howard Gillman, left, speaks with UCI alumna Erin Gruwell '91 and her Freedom Writers students. 

Erin Gruwell, keynote speaker
UCI alumna Erin Gruwell (second from left), keynote speaker at the OC Working Together summit, was joined on stage by her Freedom Writers students.

In the afternoon, attendees separated into a series of facilitated breakout sessions to exchange ideas and identify the next steps in forging solutions to pressing social issues.  

Deena Margolis facilitated the breakout session regarding Raising Healthy Families.
Deena Margolis facilitated the breakout session regarding Raising Healthy Families.

Barney Ellis-Perry summarizes the notes from the Partnerships for Literacy breakout session.
Barney Ellis-Perry summarizes the notes from the Partnerships for Literacy breakout session.

Natalie Reider helps in gathering feedback during the breakout session on Using Data to Reduce Homelessness
Natalie Reider helps in gathering feedback during the breakout session on Using Data to Reduce Homelessness.