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We Are The Radical Monarchs: Discussion Guide

Discussion Prompts

DISCUSSION PROMPT – STARTING THE CONVERSATION

Immediately after the film, you may want to give people a few quiet moments to reflect on what they have seen. You could pose a general question (examples below) and give people some time to themselves to write down or think about their answers before opening the discussion. Alternatively, you could ask participants to share their thoughts with a partner before starting a group discussion.

  • What specific feelings did the film bring up for you? Can you describe the scenes that conjured those feelings?
  • Did this film generate any new thoughts, ideas, or ask you to consider something you hadn't considered?
  • Describe a moment or scene in the film that you found particularly moving or disturbing. What was it about that scene that was especially compelling to you?

DISCUSSION PROMPT – Social Justice

Many of the themes the Radical Monarchs learned, discussed and took action on were tied to issues of Social Justice such as Police Brutality, Environmental Justice, and equal rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community.

  • In what ways are police brutality, environmental justice, and equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community social justice issues?
  • Do you think these topics are too intense to discuss with young children? If yes why? If no, explain why not.
  • What dangers may stem from not raising young peoples’ consciousness regarding these issues – for them and/or their communities?
  • In what ways might teaching young people about issues of political and social importance cultivate empathy in their lives?
  • In what ways might teaching young people about issues of political and social importance and injustices allow them to imagine more just futures for themselves and others?
  • How would our world be different if people learned about these issues as young children?
  • What are pressing issues affecting your community/school/city currently, and how are they different or similar to the issues presented in the film?

DISCUSSION PROMPT – Fierce Sisterhood

Radical Monarch Co-Founders Anayvette & Marilyn were friends before founding Radical Monarchs together; throughout the film you see how their shared experiences as queer women of color and bond impacts how they support each other through the challenges and successes of building a new organization. Likewise the joyful development of Fierce Sisterhood between the Monarchs is seen as they grow into their consciousness, mutual experiences and empowerment.

  • What role does friendship play in the Radical Monarch movement?
  • What examples did you see of Fierce Sisterhood in the film? Which were your favorite scenes that show this? How did you recognize it?
  • Why is it important to cultivate Fierce Sisterhood and joy in Social Justice movement work?
  • In what ways has witnessing the joy, delight, and bonds of Fierce Sisterhood between the Monarchs changed the way you think of teaching/learning about injustice?
  • In what ways is it possible, necessary even, to find pleasure and joy in activist spaces?

DISCUSSION PROMPT – Advocacy

Throughout the film we see the Monarchs advocating for social justice in their troop meetings, in the streets and at city council meetings. Towards the end of the film, Monarchs earn their Radical Advocacy badge and travel to their state capitol to meet with legislators.

  • What were the three issues Monarchs shared with legislators and what were some of their concerns and proposed solutions?
  • What was symbolic about the Monarchs making the trip to their state capitol at the end of the film? What role do symbolic actions play in social movements?
  • In what ways are young people, specifically, powerful with regards to making a difference and advocating for change?
  • What strengths might youth have that older communities of activists lack?
  • What happens when we consider young peoples’ wisdom and allow them to lead in movements towards social justice and liberation?
  • What are pressing issues in your community that you have advocated for? How did it feel to advocate? Has this film inspired new forms or modes of activism?

About the authors

Marilyn Hollinquest

Marilyn Hollinquest, Co-Founder of the Radical Monarchs, is a social justice advocate who specializes in young women of colors empowerment. She has 15 plus years of experience as a teacher, community advocate and scholar. Marilyn received her M.A in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, and B.A in Community Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz. Marilyn is passionate about the marriage of theory and practice (praxis) which is at the core of her commitment to the authentic inclusion of disenfranchised peoples. She currently builds radical community in her chosen home of Oakland, CA and is a proud Tulare, CA native.

Anayvette Martinez

Anayvette Martinez Co-Founder of the Radical Monarchs is a San Francisco native and child of Central American immigrants. Anayvette's varied interests in advocacy, community organizing and empowerment led her to pursue her undergraduate degree at the University of California Los Angeles and later her Master's degree at San Francisco State University in Ethnic Studies. Over the past fifteen years she has developed and managed education, social justice, and gendered support programs focused on empowerment and safety for youth, families and their adult allies. Anayvette currently lives and loves in East Oakland with her two children.