Don't Wait: Three Girls Who Fought for Change and Won

Regular price $ 16.95

by Sonali Kohli

Beacon Press

6/4/2024, paperback

SKU: 9780807010952


Follows the stories of three young women activists of color fighting for some of today's most pressing movements of defunding the police, environmental justice, and arts education

Girls of color have always been on the front lines of the fight for equal rights--to vote, to learn, to live--even when they are the last to benefit from the outcomes of their work. In Don't Wait, journalist Sonali Kohli follows three teenagers' efforts to make their communities safer, healthier places.

Don't Wait highlights what propelled the teenagers into their activism to their experiences organizing and incorporates Q&As with important lessons from activists who have led the way.

The three teen activists include:

- Nalleli has lived across the street from an active oil well in South Los Angeles and at age 7, developed serious health problems. Nalleli and her mother take on an oil company and become environmental justice activists.

- Kahlila, following the murder of George Floyd and looking to help fight back, becomes involved with the Black Lives Matter movement in Los Angeles and fights to defund school police in one of the largest school police forces in the nation.

- Sonia, an accomplished singer grappling with finding an creative outlet in the pandemic, strives to increase access to arts education in schools across California.

As the young women transition from teen to adult activists, Don't Wait reflects on the powerful lessons they've learned in their activism while building movements in their communities that will continue to live on as they move forward.

Target age: 12 and up


"What divides and unites us has always been imagined through story. Sonali Kohli offers us three real-life stories that speak to both division and unity and the tools to make the most of them." -- Anton Treuer, author of Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask and Where Wolves Don't Die

"Sonali Kohli's Don't Wait: Three Girls Who Fought for Change and Won is a riveting account of teenagers Nalleli, Kahlila, and Sonia and their fearless battles to remake the world as it should be. Too often, we read about activists who are fully formed adults, but here we have the rare opportunity to witness them in the process: being adolescents, becoming freedom fighters, and embarking on journeys to self that teach us all new meanings of sacrifice, justice, and hope." -- Salamishah Tillet, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and cofounder of A Long Walk Home

About the Author:

Sonali Kohli is a journalist writing about young people and the futures they are creating. Kohli was an education reporter for the Los Angeles Times for six years with a passion for covering youth movements and in 2020, was named the top education journalist in the nation by the Education Writers Association. She is currently a recruiter at URL Media, where she works with underrepresented folks in journalism and media to find jobs and workplaces that will treat them well.