A new youth group has sprung up in Oakland, California, aimed at getting young girls to use their voices to speak out against injustice.
In the home of the Black Panther movement, two women named Marilyn Hollinquest and Anayvette Martinez have decided to begin a new organization named the Radical Brownies. According to KPIX, the group is aimed at helping girls to be a little more socially conscious while learning new skills and making friends.
Anayvette recalls that they started the group earlier this year when her daughter expressed interest in becoming a member of an organization like the girl scouts. While learning to sew and selling cookies are fine, Anayvette wanted to make sure that her daughter was also finding out how she can actively take part in shaping the world around her. “How amazing would it be to have a girls’ troop that was really focused around social justice and where girls could even earn badges?”
Members are between 8-10 years old, and they promoted the #BlackLivesMatter movement while marching in Oakland’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. Before their public debut, though, the girls did need to learn about the incidents that led up to the movement gaining national attention.
Once the parade was over, the troop earned their Black Lives Matter badges that come complete with a Black power fist.
The Radical Brownies have been met with some criticism for teaching the girls about shootings and police brutality, but the founders don’t seem to believe that the girls need to be shielded from these things.
“I think it’s very appropriate,” Marilyn told the news station. “A lot of the work the Black Panthers did was community-oriented.”
“They are big issues,” Anayvette added. “But we also feel like these are conversations that they’re not too young to be having.”