In honor of World Day of Social Justice, members of the global 2022-2023 Girl Up Teen Advisory Board pen a powerful poem envisioning a world where girls and women are truly free to live, to do, to be. Read on for their heartfelt words and watch a few Teen Advisors recite their freedom anthem for equal rights and justice below.

“Until All of Us Are Free”

Until all of us are free


To live undaunted, for it is only half a life,

 If it is lived with fear.

To live unafraid of walking dark nights alone, free of unease at every footstep, 

Menace at every leer.

To dress and express, myself as I wish

Without being told that my honour lies, not in character, 

But in the clothes I wear.

Until all of us are free


Where I can hold the hand of the one who brings me comfort and love

Without fear and shame of my identity.

Until my love is seen as equal to the status quo,

I will hold out hope

For a better, more loving tomorrow.

Until all of us are free


Whisper into rivers, mountains, gardens

Root yourself in foremothers

Ada, Marie, Rosalind, repeat like a calling

Pull apart systems, then put them back again

Science as the heartbeat of your home

Until all of us are free

Oru Swathanthra Stree.

To be the change we want to see

To lead, to chart our own destiny

Where a hijabi girl isn’t followed for ‘looking suspicious’, by the police,

Where a Dalit woman isn’t asked what use studying will be;

Where a young Black girl recites a poem at the President’s ceremony,

And elsewhere, a tribal woman dons her traditional Santhali saree,

As she takes oath to lead the world’s largest democracy.

Until all of us are free


To learn and teach and be taught

To grow our minds far beyond where our feet could ever take us

To know that the only thing that stands between us and our dreams is our will to succeed

A world where an educated woman strikes admiration, not fear, in the hearts of her people

Where her mind is nurtured and her thoughts are heard
For she has something to share that’s worth listening to

Until all of us are free


To live in a world our sisters should foresee

To breathe clean air 

Until Mother Earth, we care

Till our oceans are released from misuse

And the deadly carbon emissions reduce 

Some chains are palpable, yet others veiled  

Some bind us immobile, others snake around, an insidious embrace;

Yet the mark they leave is indelible, for reddened wrists and a wistful soul, share

A desire to be free. To see our sisters free.

We won’t, we shan’t, we cannot stop

Speaking, fighting, teaching, writing,

Listening, learning, dreaming, yearning

Until all of us are free.

For none of us are free,

Until all of us are free.

Featured in this video (in alphabetical order): Alice (Peru), Ana Beatriz Lopes (Brasil), Isabel (Taiwan), María José Pérez (México), Sarah (Madagascar), and Saundarya (India).

This poem was written by a group of Teen Advisors from the 2022-2023 Class, including Saundarya & Isabel. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the writers’ own.


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