Turn Up for Freedom: Notes for All the Tough Girls* Awakening to Their Collective Power

Regular price $ 18.00

by E Morales-Williams

Common Notions

9/26/2023, paperback

SKU: 9781942173830


A powerful guidebook for healing and resistance for young girls and gender-expansive youth of color on how to unite, heal, protect, and lead their communities.

Turn Up For Freedom helps youth leaders hone their skills to build personal, emotional, and collective freedom. It centers youth leadership through principled positions, such as being a healer, a protector, a scholar-activist, a community organizer, and being radically joyful, in order to build personal emotional and collective freedom. Through memoir, story telling, and political education, E Morales-Williams grounds these principles in the material experiences of working-class youth and reflects on the possibilities and challenges in practicing them as a collective in under-resourced communities.

These were the principles of leadership and lessons learned from a Black and Brown girls and gender expansive youth-collective called TUFF Girls (Turning Up for Freedom), based in North Philadelphia. Morales-Williams carefully guides young readers through the challenging issues that confront their lives, helping to identify the traumatic impact that structural violence has on Black and Brown communities, restoring traditions of healing and collective care, and recentering leadership in community as an abolitionist and decolonizing practice. Turn Up For Freedom calls on young people to unite, heal, protect, and lead.

Target age: 12 to 17


"In Turn Up for Freedom, E Morales-Williams offers a deeply generous roadmap to healing, wholeness and leadership for young Black girls and femmes and those who love and provide guidance for them. Some parts memoir, other parts anecdote and political toolkit, but all parts love--this book leaves its readers with the confidence and the preparation to both understand and take on a world that is designed to render them defenseless. It is a gift." -- Tarana Burke, founder and Chief Vision Officer of me too. International and author of Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement

"Amid U.S. educational policy assaults seeking to blacklist global histories of liberation struggles across race, sexuality, and gender, E Mari Morales Williams delivers urgent, insurgent wisdom borne from years of inspired collective study and practice with the youth they served. An intimate testimony, insightful syllabi, and interactive guidebook centering Black girls and gender-expansive youth, Turn Up for Freedom is the revitalizing platform to carry its primary audience over the threshold between understanding the unfair and unfinished world they inherit and incubating a renewed vocabulary of resistance necessary to incite mass revolution in their lifetimes. A magnificent and most-needed blueprint for intersectional, healing-centered, joy-filled youth organizing." -- Christopher R. Rogers, PhD, National Steering Committee, Black Lives Matter At School and coeditor of How We Stay Free: Notes on a Black Uprising

About the Author:

E Morales-Williams is a Black queer nonbinary organizer from East Harlem and the Bronx, based in Philadelphia for the past fifteen years. They are a long-time youth worker, an abolitionist, and a survivor of sexual assault and police violence. Morales-Williams is an award-winning teacher and founder of TUFF Girls, a founding member of the national organization Black Youth Project 100, and was the Program Coordinator for me too International, where they supported programming and facilitated the Survivor Leadership Training Program.