Directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, We Are The Radical Monarchs has its national broadcast debut on the PBS documentary series POV on Monday, July 20 at 9 p.m. Set in Oakland, a city with a deep history of social justice movements, the film follows the two trailblazing, queer women of color who created The Radical Monarchs, a more diverse and inclusive alternative to the scout movement.
With bullhorns and protest signs at the ready, Co-Founders Anayvette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest juggle the challenges to grow their organization after a viral explosion of interest in the Radical Monarch’s mission to create and inspire a new generation of activists. The film takes us on a journey following the first troop of Radical Monarchs for over three years — before and after the 2016 Presidential election — at the front lines of social justice as they complete units on such subjects as LGBTQ allyship, environment racism, and disability justice. The film also documents what it looks like for the Co-Founders to respond to the national and international desire for troops – to go from a group of ten girls, to starting a movement.
This is a womxn of color empowerment story at its core; as an intersectional feminist and a filmmaker, it is my intention to amplify womxn and girls’ voices. The Radical Monarchs give me hope for the future, and with this film I can share that hope.Linda Goldenstein Knowlton, director of We Are The Radical Monarchs
Co-Founder Martinez was inspired to create a diverse and inclusive group for her daughter, Lupita, and other girls of color. Martinez and Hollinquest’s work is anchored in the belief that adolescent girls of color need dedicated spaces and that the foundation for this innovative work must also be rooted in fierce inter-dependent sisterhood, self-love, and hope.
Instead of selling cookies, these formidable and outspoken girls earn badges for units such as “Radical Beauty,” “Radical Bodies,” and “Radical Roots.” A typical troop meeting may focus on discussing what defines Pride, or the gender spectrum, or what it means to be an ally. Or it may find the girls meeting with an original member of the Black Panthers, getting into parks and the streets for protests, taking part in Black Lives Matter marches or even taking a road trip to the California legislature to advocate for highly pressing issues in their communities for their “Radical Advocacy” badge. For the inquisitive young women who make up the first Radical Monarchs troop – including, eight-year-old Amia and Martinez’s ten-year-old daughter, Lupita – radical means respecting others while still standing up for yourself.
And while it may be surprising to hear such confident declarations coming from a group of tweens, it’s only a sample of the inner strength, the personal growth, and the social awareness We Are The Radical Monarchs reveals.
We Are The Radicals Official Trailer
Director, Producer: Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Producer, Editor: Katie Flint
Executive Producer: Grace Lee
Editor: Arielle Amsalem
Original Score: Gingger Shankar
Executive Producers for POV: Justine Nagan, Chris White
POV Shorts Producer: Opal H. Bennett