When she was in fourth grade, Lupita Martinez wanted to join her local scouting troop. Her mom, Anayvette, worried the group wouldn’t speak to Lupita’s lived experience, so she started one that would. Radical Monarchs is a progressive scouting troop for young girls of color in Oakland, California. A social justice-oriented alternative to the Girl Scouts, the Monarchs still earn badges but not for sewing or selling cookies. Instead their badges are for units on Black Lives Matter, Radical Beauty, being an LGBTQ Ally and environmental justice issues. The group promotes opportunities to form sisterhood and supports social causes that affect the girls and their communities.

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  • Cynthia

    It reminded me of a group in the Dominican Republic that also aims to transform Girls' lives. The Mariposa was a code used by the Marital sisters, who organized resistance to the dictator Trujillo, he was only interested in them as "pretty women, play things". The Monarch butterfly is such a strong transformative symbol in nature so this caught my eye and I wonder if you have the story about the radical Monarchs in Spanish?

  • Rejoice

    They should be encouraged. We have failed to to get people to see beyond colour, so empowering our young girls to be confident is welcome

  • Sherry

    It is sad that this is yet another racist group that excludes others. We are all human and should teach our children the same. It starts with the parents. I don't understand why a parent would teach their child that they are different because of the color of their skin. It perpetuates hatred and bigotry. We should teach our children to rise above unfairness, discrimination and segregation.

  • Dane

    A meditation badge is worth considering. Joy is our Nature.

  • Brian

    Thanks for sharing. This is a special introduction to an idea that could touch communities all over the world. These children were gathering together to learn about their own Human rights, and how to create change locally and possibly Globally. What a wonderful thing. The reason the Mom created this special team, is because there is discrimination, and a lack of "consciousness" in the world. Denying that reality is not healthy or realistic, and team bonding is helping the Girls find an empowering voice together. We should celebrate the Mom's effort to teach the Girls to learn and lead. Eventually, the "Radical Monarchs" could include all cultures...The millennial generation is all about inclusion, so it would be a natural evolution of the "social consciousness" theme. As is said: "every skin to me, ain't always kin to me". So, love should be the focus, while recognizing the intolerant realities in the world...(Any enlightened Senior would tell us that) As we find in many communities, we are stronger when we magnify "oneness" and not "separation:, while being honest with divisive forces. We shouldn't be afraid of the word "Radical". Dr. King, Gandhi, John Lennon...America...Liberal mindedness is about embracing the "new", and is still a new idea in every Nation that needs to be nurtured, respected and loved...1love...peace “Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to... reason and justice without constraint.” Alexander Hamilton

  • Sharonmo

    I feel that any group that inspires girls to love themselves; any group that helps them to experience that being a girl is a blessing and a gift the world needs right now; any group that makes it clear how powerful the feminine is and can help bring balance and connection, is a magical and wonderful thing. Loving themselves makes them love everyone else better, and is so fantastically awesome. I like the name because it means metamorphosis and transformation. Genius is right!

  • Kinta

    This is genius! All of you Radical Monarchs are awesome! Thank you for thinking outside the box and inventing such a creative way to express yourselves and bring positive awareness to our communities and the world. Bravo! To speak to the post by Harish the people of color is a term it seems we all understand. Perhaps we need to know more of the circumstances in Anayvette community that prompted her to lift up her daughter and all the Radical Monarchs before judging why she didn't pursue GS. We are all people of the same color blood. White is not a color. To speak the to post by Larissa I was a brownie and a GS back in the 50s and 60s so I am not aware of the intentions that take place in GS today. I do think it was a brilliant move to create the Radical Monarchs so they can have a voice. I've always thought GSs selling cookies was not the best idea, promoting sugary and unhealthy cookies (ever read the ingredients?). These young girls are connecting to their heritage and building strong character via their experiences as young women of color. I think all that was mentioned in this video, especially the badges they can earn is exceptional! My hat is off to Anayvette Martinez!

  • Harish

    It is encouraging to see youth taking part in designing their future. However I am confused by the commonly accepted term, people of color. I know what it means in day to day terms but isn't everyone a person of color. White, brown, black are all colors. So someone coined the term, people of color, and it got accepted, blindly. Waiting for a creative person to coin a term which can be truly non-discriminatory by not using the word color. I understand the intent, but I do not understand the terminology because I have not seen a colorless person yet!

  • Larissa

    I think this is a very inspiring story, and I think it's awesome that Anayvette Martinez started a troop for young girls in her community. I also can't help feel how unfortunate it is that Anayvette was worried her local girl scout troop wouldn't speak to Lupita's experiences. Girl Scout troops are awesome places that can be formed in ways that any troop leader wants to guide them towards. And if political activism, and current events are what she wanted her troop to focus on, she could have done this in a traditional girl scout troop just as she is doing now. No harm done either way, but I just wanted people to know that Girl Scouts isn't all about selling cookies and sewing badges... thanks!

  • Page 1

  • Learn more about the Radical Monarchs and how they empower young girls of color.
  • Read about how 5 teens are making a difference across the United States. 
  • Encourage young girls in your community to let their voices be heard and make a difference in the world. 

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