Meet the ‘Radical Brownies’ - Girl Scouts for the modern age January 25, 2015
Not all girl scouts are concerned with peddling shortbread cookies. There’s one troop of young girls in Oakland that discusses matters of racial inequality and wear brown berets in an homage to radical civil rights groups.
The girls, ages 8-12, are part of the “Radical Brownies,” an edgier, younger version of the Girl Scouts, where girls earn badges for completing workshops on social protests, and a beauty workshop that celebrate racial diversity.
Radical Brownies is dedicated to providing young girls of color relevant life experiences, explains the group’s co-founder Anayvette Martinez.
Martinez, a community organizer, created the Radical Brownies with Marilyn Hollinquest because “there aren’t enough spaces [for young girls of color] in our society.” The Radical Brownies of Oakland launched last month and already includes 12 girls. All the members are girls of color or mixed-race. The Radical Brownies are not affiliated with the Girl Scouts of the USA.
The founders say once the program expands to multiple chapters the organization will be open to everybody, but the program will always remain focused on young girls of color.
In the Radical Brownies, girls learn about social justice movements such the Black Panthers and the Chicano group Brown Berets. They wear their brown berets in homage to those two groups. But they also study how Disney princesses define girls’ image of beauty, and how that can affect self-image.
The Radical Brownies have their own badge system, including one for “Radical Beauty” and an “LGBT ally” badge. The girls also earned a “Black Lives Matter” badge after learning about police accountability and attending a civil rights march in Oakland.
“I think it’s never too early to have these conversations with young people,” Martinez told Fusion.
“Children are more aware than we think; it’s important to not shelter children from real issues that we’re living,” she said. “It’s especially important for young girls of color to feel empowered.”
The troop is ready to attend more protest and will soon launch a fundraising campaign on their Facebook page to raise money for a banner and a megaphone.
Is there a Girl Scouts for grown women? I never did Girl Scouts when I was a kid and I think there should be one for adults. We get together once a month or something and learn nature skills and we’ll eat cookies and give each other those badges that say things like “paid off a student loan!” and then once a year we get to take a special trip to the science museum for a kick ass slumber party.
Utah Girls Scouts troop hopes to attract transgender recruits
The Girl Scouts are concerned about falling membership and a declining number of adult volunteers, so a Girl Scout staffer in Salt Lake City cooked up the idea to start a troop headquartered in the area’s “gay pride center.”
The idea is to attract “transgender” youth and children living with an LGBT parent.
Shari Solomon-Kleba told the Associated Press, “Girl Scouts is all about empowering girls to become leaders who make the world a better place. Why not at the Pride Center?”
The troop had its first meeting Monday with five girls. No transgender youth have joined yet but hopes are high.
Girl Scout spokesman Josh Ackley told the AP there are no prohibitions on LGBT leaders in the Girl Scouts USA. Breitbart News profiled Ackley last year as a “homopunk” rocker who makes music videos showing violence against women. Ackley said boys who identify as girls are accepted in the Girl Scouts nationally.
President Barack Obama talks to Girl Scouts from Tulsa, Oklahoma, about their invention — a page-turning device
made out of LEGOs that helps readers with arthritis — and the process of
brainstorming ideas during the White House Science Fair on March 23,
The commander in chief ended the conversation with a group hug.