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New Documentary ‘We Are The Radical Monarchs’ Explores How Young Girls Of Color Are Becoming Leaders By Earning Merit Badges For Activism




Troops members of the organization The Radical Monarchs.
Troops members of the organization The Radical Monarchs.
PBS/"We Are The Radical Monarchs"

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The Radical Monarchs aren’t your average girl scouting troop. This Oakland-bred organization wants to create future leaders, providing young girls of color the opportunity to take part in community causes and learn to harness their voices to stand up for social justice. That journey is captured in Linda Goldstein Knowlton’s documentary “We Are the Radical Monarchs.”

Goldstein Knowlton directed and produced the documentary, following the organization’s first troop over the course of three years until they graduate. The Radical Monarchs were created as an alternative to the Girl Scouts of America by two queer women of color, Anayette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest, who wanted their daughter to embrace her experience as a young brown girl and provide other girls of color the same opportunity. Oakland serves as the film’s backdrop, a largely black and brown community rooted in a deep history of social justice and activism. It’s in Oakland where we see The Radical Monarchs fight for issues such as LGBTQ rights, the environment and disability justice. It’s a growing organization that has gained national interest for its mission to inspire a new generation of activists and provide opportunity to young girls in often forgotten communities.

Today on FilmWeek, John Horn chatted with director and producer Linda Goldstein Knowlton on what it was like to work with The Radical Monarchs, what the group means for young girls and what people can take away from the film. 

“We Are Radical Monarchs” is currently streaming at PBS.org and on the PBS app. You can also watch it here.

Guest:

Linda Goldstein Knowlton, director and producer of the documentary “We Are The Radical Monarchs”; she tweets at @lindagknowlton