<- back

Freedom Youth Squad

An Intersectional Struggle for Safe Places

Freedom Inc.

Madison, WI

Freedom Youth Squad are youth leaders in Madison, WI who are dedicated to organizing to end violence against Southeast Asian and Black communities. A major campaign of the Freedom Youth Squad is Police Free Schools, which has four demands:

  • Take cops out of schools.
  • Invest in the leadership, wellness, and creativity of Black youth and youth of color.
  • Use transformative justice instead of punishing youth.
  • Give youth, parents, and trusted adults real decision making power over schools.

In June 2020, the Freedom Youth Squad’s organizing was successful and the Madison Metropolitan School Board voted to end its contract with the Madison Police Department.

“The police don’t do anything for me in school.”

Freedom Inc. Youth

“Our motto is our Community is Our Campaign because we aren’t issue based, we’re people-based, we’re community-based. So we are fighting every issue that’s impacting our communities.”

M Adams

Co-Director Freedom Inc.

The Freedom Youth Squad are youth leaders of Freedom Inc. – a Black and Southeast Asian non-profit organization that works with low- to no-income communities of color in Dane County, Wisconsin. Their mission is to achieve social justice through coupling direct services with leadership development and community organizing that will bring about social, political, cultural, and economic change resulting in the end of violence against women, gender-non-conforming and transgender folks, and children within communities of color.

They work to challenge the root causes of violence, poverty, racism and discrimination, believing that people who are most affected by these issues must have voice, power, resources and choice, in order for true social change to happen. Beyond the Freedom Youth Squad, Freedom Inc. has a number of other intersectional campaigns and programs centered around ending violence and promoting safe spaces for Black and Southeast Asian communities, including Black Girls Matter, Lotus Youth Group, Viv Ncaus Dance Troop, Khmer Women’s Healing Circle, and Debra’s Love.

At the core of Freedom Inc.’s intersectional justice work are three pillars: Gender Justice, Queer Justice, and Black and Southeast Asian Liberation. These pillars do not stand alone but are rather in deep interconnection with one another.


Some other key projects

“We’ve become a political home for many people…How do we support each other across racial, intergenerational and multi-gendered spaces. Why is it important that we fight for queer justice, gender justice and against racism? Because you cannot fight for one without fighting for the other.”

Kabzuag Vaj, Co-Director Freedom Inc.

“We think it’s really important for people to understand that defunding the police is also a gender justice issue”

Jessica Williams

Gender Justice Director for Freedom Inc.

Related Project

Defend Black Womxn Painted the message of “Defend Black Womxn” on Doty Street in Madison’s Downtown to kick off week of Gender Justice Action

Fight against gender violence, LGBTQ+ violence During Trans Week of Remembrance 2020, Freedom Inc. celebrated and honored its own Trans and gender nonconforming Freedom Fighters

Viv Ncaus Dance Troupe was founded in 2007 by the dancers of Ntsais Plia in Madison, WI. Our mission is to end gender based violence by building sisterhood that will challenge patriarchy, homophobia, racism, and classism[m] through the use of Hmong arts[n]. We believe that it is a necessity for us to document our stories and the stories of all the women who have come before us, and we do so by creating Hmong dances.


  • End systems of oppression and violence against women, gender nonconforming, LGBTQ+ persons


  • We started doing Southeast Asian organizing in Black neighborhoods. We knew we weren’t the right leaders, so we created space to train younger Black youth leaders to organize in the Black community.
  • We look to learn from each other without appropriating each others’ cultures or losing one’s own culture; be inclusive but not a “melting pot.”
  • We recognize the criminalization of Black bodies and use our Southeast Asian bodies where we can act as a shield.
  • Art can be both a method of organizing and actual resistance – an expression of power against violence, resistance to cultural erasure.
  • Perpetrators of violence should not be used as an excuse to keep policing.