Rad Girls Can

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ABOUT MIRIAM KLEIN STAHL

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Photo by Casey Orr

A BMC alum, Miriam Klein Stahl is a Bay Area artist, educator and activist. In addition to her work in printmaking, drawing, sculpture, paper-cut and public art, she is also the co-founder of the Arts and Humanities Academy at Berkeley High School where she’s taught since 1995.

As an artist, she follows in a tradition of making socially relevant work, creating portraits of political activists, misfits, radicals and radical movements. As an educator, she has dedicated her teaching practice to address equity through the lens of the arts. Her work has been widely exhibited and reproduced internationally.

Stahl is also the co-owner of Pave the Way Skateboards, a queer skateboarding company formed with Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, writer and skateboarder Tara Jepson. She lives in Berkeley, California with her wife, artist Lena Wolff, daughter Hazel, and their dog Lenny.

 

ABOUT KATE SCHATZ

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Kate Schatz (pronounced ‘Shots’) is the co-founder of Solidarity Sundays, a nationwide network of feminist activist groups. She’s a writer, organizer, public speaker, educator, and left-handed vegetarian Bay Area-born-and-bred feminist activist mama. She has appeared at over 100 public schools and libraries, and has given keynotes and talks for a wide range of organizations, speaking about everything from her books to contemporary feminism to electoral politics and political change.

Her book of fiction, Rid of Me: A Story, was published in 2006 as part of the acclaimed 33 1/3 series. Her work has been published in LENNY, Buzzfeed, Signature, Brightly, Oxford American, East Bay Express, Denver Quarterly, and Joyland, among others. Her short story “Folsom, Survivor”was included as a “Notable Short Story” in Best American Short Stories 2011, and her essay “What I Mean (or Dear White People)” appears in the anthology  Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times.

By Kate Schatz

Four years ago, Miriam Stahl and I  published our first‐ever children’s book. It’s not an understatement to say that we had no idea that Rad American Women A‐Z would become such a success. Not because we didn’t believe in it, but because we didn’t think that a children’s book about diverse, radical women who have defied the odds and fought for justice and equality would become a bestseller. But we quickly realized: this is something people want. These are stories that parents, educators, kids, and people of all ages need.

A year and a half later, in September of 2016, we released our second book, Rad Women Worldwide. Once again, we presented stories of diverse, often lesser‐known changemakers and leaders, this time from around the world. And once again we saw how in demand these kinds of stories are.

Now we recently published RAD GIRLS CAN: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women, which tells 50 stories of young women who’ve done incredible things before age 20—from winning gold medals to becoming CEOs to running for office. We got the idea from the many young readers who have come to our readings, assemblies, and talks, and asked: “Can you make a book about people my age?”

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After hearing this request numerous times, we decided to listen, and to do it. RAD GIRLS CAN shows us the potential and the power of young, creative, hopeful, brilliant girls, and all that they can do in this world. While some of the stories in Rad Girls Can are about girls from history, many are contemporary, and show how young people are engaging with and shaping the future of some of our most urgent issues, including voting rights, climate change, immigration, gender and sexual identity, disability rights, and racial justice.

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Researching and writing this book has been an incredibly bright spot in an otherwise politically difficult time. I’ve had phone calls with teenage inventors, climate change activists, and immigration rights leaders. I’ve texted with a 15 year old voting rights advocate, Skyped with an 11 year old fashion designer, and exchanged emails with Mary Beth Tinker, who stood up for free speech over 50 years ago, when she was a 13 year old who did not support the Vietnam War. I sat on the grass in a park in Oakland and listened to 10- and 11-year old girls talk about racial justice and body image.

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The stories we share in Rad Girls Can give is an enormous amount of inspiration and motivation.

Every day , there are millions of young people quietly, consistently, boldly creating the future. They are pushing the boundaries of technology and language and how we think and talk about gender, race, and identity. They are dreaming and achieving and innovating and winning and inventing and being rad.

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Illustrations printed with permission from Rad Girls Can: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women, by Kate Schatz; illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, copyright (c) 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Illustrations (c) 2018 by Miriam Klein Stahl. You can buy the book here

 

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