Akonadi Foundation’s mission is to support the development of powerful social change movements to eliminate structural racism and create a racially just society. Using an ecosystem grantmaking lens, Akonadi supports and nurtures grassroots organizing, culture shift, and policy changes that build Oakland’s racial justice movement. We are lifting up the work of our grant partners through a monthly spotlight series; for our July installment, we feature Radical Monarchs. The Radical Monarchs mission is to create opportunities for young girls of color to form fierce sisterhood, celebrate their identities and contribute radically to their communities.
Radical Monarchs Co-founder, Marilyn Hollinquest talks about her work with the RadicalMonarchs. What draws you to the work on a personal level?
I am a part of the Radical Monarch movement because it serves as my daily dose of hope and inspiration to keep fighting for justice. What draws me to youth-centered movement building is the urgent need to guide and develop young people who are able to navigate their local political systems with ease in order to keep the powerful accountable. Our organization is a social justice leadership incubator for young girls of color who are often overlooked in the adult-centered fight for equity, despite them belonging to one of the most exploited groups across the globe.
How does the Radical Monarch Movement affirm and celebrate the collective memory, shared histories, social identities, and/or cultures of Oakland’s communities of color?
Every Radical Badge affirms shared herstories and becomes part of a lifelong toolkit each girl must use to slay systemic domination/exploitation, while simultaneously creating spaces for both individual and collective transformation. The Radical Monarch Movement advances girls rights to equity, safety, joy, and self-determined communities through our experiential education model that lifts up and celebrates Oakland’s rich movement herstory. The Radical Monarch experiential curriculum we have created helps the girls deepen their innate brilliance and ability to navigate through systemic barriers so they can embody their full power and potential.
What is the vision that guides your work? What will the world – and specifically Oakland – look like if you are successful?
The Radical Monarch Movement’s vision is to 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. We define the word “radical” as being a bold innovative advocate for change. In order for our girls to thrive and have a high impact in Oakland, the foundation for this innovative work must also be rooted in fierce inter-dependent sisterhood, self-love, and hope. Our purpose is to cultivate generations of freedom fighters who are versed in intersectional community organizing, keeping the powerful accountable, plus self-care techniques to help restore and rebalance the body for longevity, in order to work sustainably.
What will you be focused on for the rest of the year?
We will be focused on fundraising in order to hire two program staff so that we can grow and launch more Radical Monarch troops; we will also pilot our alumni program. We are a small grassroots organization that needs community investment and support to grow. To get updates and learn more about the Radical Monarch Movement, please follow us on Instagram @RadicalMonarchs and check out our website www.RadicalMonarchs.