A girl’s place is in the revolution, at least that’s what the Radical Monarchs, an Oakland-based club for young chicas of color, believe.
Donning brown berets, in homage to the 1960s activism of the Black Panthers, Young Lords and Brown Berets, the group of girls ages 8 through 12 give an intersectional feminist twist to the Girl Scouts of the USA, whom they are not affiliated with.
Las niñas earn badges for their efforts to create change, which they do by participating in Black Lives Matter protests, attending workshops on disability justice, writing letters to transgender immigrants locked up in detention centers, challenging beauty ideals and practicing radical love by reading bell hooks, among other badass endeavors.
Meeting every other weekend, the 12 girls of the Radical Monarchs, and their adult leaders Anayvette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest, are creating fierce sisterhood centered on making the world a more just and radical place.
But they don’t want to do this alone. Here, five of the Radical Monarchs tell Latina why all girls of color should join the revolution.
1. We have to stand up for what we believe in. “I joined the revolution because I think girls of color should stand up for what they believe in,” said Soleena. “I learned about ableism and racism, for example, and how wrong it is, so I want to change it and make the world a better place for everyone!”
2. We have to fight for our people and communities. “I joined the revolution as a young girl of color because it means uprising with my sisters to fight for justice and for what's right. I joined the revolution to be a leader and to grow as a young girl of color. I believe in equity and fairness because it gives us the right to be exactly who we were meant to be,” said Neveah. “It's important for girls of color to do social justice work because you have to know what’s going on in society – you must fight for the people and communities you love.”
3. We have to show the power of girls of color. “I wanted to join the Radical Monarchs revolution to change the world's problems. I also wanted to show the power of girls of color. We are standing up for what's right, and that's cool,” said Deyani. ”I believe that other girls should join the revolution so that they can learn how to be powerful leaders in their communities. Being a part of this movement will encourage them to stand up, too!”
4. We have to be aware of each other’s problems and build an intersectional movement. “I joined the Radical Monarchs revolution because, as girls of color, we built a sisterhood, not just to sell cookies, but to fight for social justice so that our community will be a place where there will be fairness and equality for all,” said Sabina. “I want other girls to join that way they can be aware of the social justice problems, and we can be more powerful fighting together!”
5. We have to be leaders, too. “It’s important for young girls of color to do social justice work to show that we are powerful and strong. Just because we are girls of color doesn't mean we cannot help our community and stand up for our rights,” said Lupita. “I'm a part of the Radical Monarchs to get knowledge on different important social justice movements like Black Lives Matter, Fativism, disability justice and the trans movement, and to also become a leader in my community.”
For more on the Radical Monarchs, or to find out where they’re bringing their revolutionary brilliance to next, check out their Facebook page.