They are Radical Monarchs

Hi guys!  Sorry about taking July off like that. I think I have some good content lined up for you for August, so we should be back to a mostly-regular, weekly schedule.

I don’t know about you, but even with Netflix and Amazon and cable, I’ve almost completely quit watching TV. I have too many books to read and to many art/craft projects to make (and then there is all that writing that I haven’t been doing). Besides, there is so much yuck on television. Who needs the aggravation!

There have been a few programs on PBS recently that I’ve really enjoyed.  There was a Great Performances theater-in-the-round play about Gloria Steinem’s life (strange, but edifying); there was an American Masters about Toni Morrison (such an inspiration as a woman and as a writer); and there was a two-part American Experience about the women’s suffrage movement that I’m only half-way through and planning on watching again already.  But my most favorite of the bunch was this great POV documentary about a group called Radical Monarchs, which is like a social activist girl scouts.

Radical Monarchs was founded in 2014 in Oakland by the mother of a fourth-grade girl who was asking to join the girl scouts. Apparently when your mother’s job is being a community organizer, she might have some progressive ideas about what sort of curriculum a leadership development organization for young women should have.

I tell you, I wish I could join the Radical Monarchs. They are teaching these girls all about social justice issues and how to stand up for themselves and speak up for what they believe is right. And these girls have such poise and the most beautiful twinkle in their eyes.

The girls earned badges like Radical Beauty which has modules on boundary setting and accepting/appreciating your body for the way it is. They learned about racial injustice, LGBTQ rights, and issues for disabled people. They participated in their local Women’s March in 2017 and spoke at a city council meeting.

My favorite part of the film was when the girls went to Sacramento. They went to visit the capital with a list of issues that they wanted to advocate for such as rental protection. The girls met with various legislators and would each present their talking points about different topics. They were polite, prepared, and knew to say just enough to make their point, then stop. But don’t think for a second that they all weren’t prepared to explain their position in more detail if given the opportunity.

Of course, this one little group run by two moms started getting national attention including being disparaged by Fox News, but it was also inundated with requests to start chapters all over the country! They are currently up to four chapters (all in the Bay Area).

We Are The Radical Monarchs is streaming on all PBS platforms (, the pbs app, through August 19 (click on to watch it now).

4 Replies to “They are Radical Monarchs”

  1. I’m glad you’re back. I was missing your distinctive POV and exploration of new themes and places. I’m looking forward to Radical Monarchs. The “The Vote” series on PBS was most interesting.

  2. Can I start one for boys? If we could get the privilege of the white malemon their side, we could change the world.

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