“Berets, badges, Black Lives Matter and social justice: the youth group for activist girls of color.”
Meet the Radical Monarchs, an Oakland, CA based group dedicated to creating opportunities for young girls of color “to form fierce sisterhood, celebrate their identities and contribute radically to their communities.”
Co-founder Anayvette Martinez first had the idea for Radical Monarchs in 2014 when her then 4th grade daughter Lupita wanted to join a young girl’s troop. “As she was blooming into a young girl of color, I watched her begin to navigate her identity and growth,” Anayvette explains. “I saw the need for a group that would empower and encourage her to form bonds of sisterhood with other girls in her community. A group that centered and affirmed her experiences as a beautiful and brilliant brown girl against so many societal pressures to conform to mainstream ideals of girlhood.”
Anayvette began to imagine what a radical young girl’s social justice troop looked like and called on her close friend Marilyn Hollinquest to help form the group’s program… and the Radical Monarchs were launched.
The group, which is open to girls between the ages of 8-12, is set up similarly to the Girl Scouts in that the girls earn badges for completing challenges. But as an alternative to the more expected badges you might find with the Girl Scouts, the Radical Monarchs earn their rewards from learning about topics such as social justice, positive body image, self love, how to be an LGBTQ ally, etc.
In this 20-minute docu-short about the Radical Monarchs, filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton takes a close look at group and shows the girls as they “learn to make the world a more radical place.”