Oakland’s Radical Monarchs Are Brownies With an Activist Twist

by BUST Magazine

In the wake of the death of Michael Brown and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2014, Oakland, CA, mom Anayvette Martinez and her friend Marilyn Hollinquest created the Radical Monarchs, a scouting group that “empowers young girls of color so they can step into their collective power and make the world a more radical place.” “I wanted to create a troop that had some elements of traditional scouting,” says Martinez, “but centered around the experiences of young girls of color. My fourth-grade daughter never let go of the idea.”

The Monarchs launched over a year ago, and in that time, the troupe of about 10 girls, ages 8 to 12, has been earning badges in Environmental Justice and Radical Beauty, while learning about activism. Their activities include meeting a former Black Panther, attending a trans-rights march, and hiking for social justice, and these girls are just getting started. “I hope that this will be an experience that helps shape their fierce identities,” says Martinez, “and that they pass it on.” 

The Radical Monarchs were featured on this week’s episode of Lena Dunham’s podcast, “Women of the Hour” – download it free here!

Article by Jolene Torr

Photograph courtesy of the Radical Monarchs

This article originally appeared in the December/January print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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