Kit Steinkellner
January 26, 2015 6:00 am

We LOVE the Girl Scouts. They’re all about community service, their uniforms are on point, and they sell us ALL THE THIN MINTS.

Still, Girl Scout-ing isn’t a one-size-fits-all extracurricular for elementary schoolers. Well, allow us to introduce you to the Radical Brownies.

The Radical Brownies are a group of 8-12-year-old girls of color who live in Oakland, California. Unlike their Girl Scout counterparts, these girls are younger, and this group is way more socially engaged. Where the Girl Scouts earn badges for things like selling a kajillion boxes of cookies, the Radical Brownies earn their badges in areas like “Radical Beauty,” in which they celebrate diversity, talk self-acceptance, and make natural sugar scrubs and body wash. They can also earn a “Black Lives Matter” badge for participating in a workshop where they learn about police accountability and attend a civil rights march in their hometown.

Like every legit troop of scouts, the Radical Brownies also have a kick-butt uniform. The girls wear brown berets and matching vests as a salute to the social justice movements they study in their troop (groups like the Chicano Brown Berets and the Black Panthers).

The troop was founded by community organizer Anayvette Martinez and her partner in do-gooding Marilyn Hollinquest. Only a month into its existence, the group already boasts 12 Brownies, all of whom are girls of color. The program has plans to expand to multiple chapters, chapters that will be open to girls of all backgrounds — but the education and activities component will always be focused on girls of color.

I think it’s never too early to have these conversations with young people,” Martinez told the website Fusion. “Children are more aware than we think; it’s important to not shelter children from real issues that we’re living. It’s especially important for young girls of color to feel empowered.”

The girls are also killing it on social media, posting A+ pics on their Facebook fan page and Instagram account with killer hashtags like #RadicalBrowniesHuddle, #YoungBrownGirlEmpowerment, #LinkedArmsFistsUp, and #StayWoke.

No, the Radical Brownies are not affiliated with the Girl Scouts of America and hopefully that won’t become an issue — both organizations are doing awesome stuff for young girls. The Radical Brownies are all about loving and educating themselves, being a part of an amazingly awesome team, and making a real difference in the community. This is the kind of extracurricular that helps a young girl become a crazy-amazing woman. We’re so excited to hear it exists. #TeamRadicalBrownies.

[Images via]

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