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#StayWoke: Meet the Radical Girl Troop Standing for Justice, Not Selling Cookies

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On the surface, the small troop of girls chanting “black lives matter” and “we love social justice in a major way” through the streets of Oakland look like your typical girl scouts: they sport berets, vests adorned in badges and embody girl power in an adorably cute way.

But they are much more than that.

These pint-sized girls make up the Radical Monarchs, an Oakland-based troop that teaches young girls of color revolutionary life skills such as engaging in community activism, rejecting gender norms and embracing all aspects of their identity.

In just three years since launching, Radical Monarchs has become the only social justice-oriented troop in the U.S. centered on the identities of girls of color. Their radical message that kids — even as early as adolescence — can directly fight against systematic injustice is one that can not be overstated, especially as police shootings of African American men continue to dominate national conversation.

The clan of 8 to 12 year olds rock brown berets in ode to the activism of the Black Panthers and Brown Beret movements of the 1960s, and invoke the kind of counter girl culture that comes in stark contrast to the overwhelmingly white, All American Girl Scouts.

And that’s exactly the point.

These social justice warriors are on a mission to make the world a better and more radical place. And they’re redefining what it means to be a modern day girl by celebrating self love, diversity and the complexities of gender identity.

Yes, they participate in fun activities like camping trips and hiking, but they also earn badges for learning the kind of real-world social justice education on par with college activists.

They’ve received a ton of media attention for standing on the frontlines at Black Lives Matter rallies, the historic Women’s March and protesting violence against the Bay Area’s  transgender community.

They’ve even joined the Say Her name movement to honor Sandra Bland and draw attention to scores of black women who’ve been killed by police.

Helping the next generation of feminists come of age boldly is exactly what’s needed so our girls can live fearlessly.

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Rachel Huggins

Rachel Huggins

Rachel Huggins is a creative content creator who hails from California (Oakland, to be exact) and lives in D.C. Her work has appeared in EBONY Magazine, USA TODAY, VOX, The Hill and more.

She Shazam's everything, loves fun things like social justice and firmly believes that "March Madness" is the new national anthem.

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