In Oakland, California, one alternative scout troop is far more socially active than their counterparts across the globe—and they’re not affiliated with the Girl Scouts.
They call themselves, “Radical Brownies.”
Their mission? “The Radical Brownies empower young girls of color so that they step into their collective power, brilliance and leadership in order to make the world a more radical place.”
There are no badges for stitching, taking care of pets or being a good neighbor. Radical Brownies “badges earned are custom-made,” and “reflect our social justice and culturally-inclusive values.” Badges include Radical Beauty Badge, Food Justice Badge, Radical Self-Love Badge.
This social-justice version of the girl scouts is a relatively new endeavor by group organizers. In the video below, co-founders Marilyn Hollinquest & Anayvette Martinezco discuss why they decided to create the group. In short, their goal is to show young girls what the world would look like if it were free of “isms”:
Those berets they’re wearing aren’t coincidental, nor are they a Parisian inspired fashion accessory. They’re an intentional nod to the Brown Berets and Black Panthers. According to the group’s organizers, “the Radical Brownies are inspired by movements grown by the community; movements that fight for justice for their communities and seek alternative ways to look after and represent themselves. The berets pay homage to the spirits of the Brown Beret and Black Panther movements of the past.”
Starting small, the Radical Brownies have big dreams. After taking a year to fine tune the curriculum, they hope to, “see the program grow and expand to other cities.”
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