8.23.2018

'Radical Cram School' is Sesame Street for the Resistance

Kristina Wong's kid-centric web series is badass and adorable.



How do we keep girls of color from internalizing the racist and misogynistic rhetoric amplified by the election of a presidential bully? How do we empower them to embrace their identities and become allies to other social movements? Forget Kumon. Your kid needs Radical Cram School.

Radical Cram School is a new web series that seeks answer to these questions through humor and fun. Hosted by comedian Kristina Wong, the unscripted six-episode series features Asian American kids, ages 7-11, eight of who identify as girls and one who identifies as gender fluid. Kristina and the kids play games, put on a puppet show and sing the blues to explore topics such as structural racism, misogyny, identity and bullying.

Grounded in academic research and crafted with comedy, Radical Cram School aims to spark the kinds of conversations not happening in school to explore topics such as structural racism, misogyny, feminism, gender identity, income inequality, and how to practice self-expression to transform negative experiences.

While the subject matter skews mature, the kids' unscripted reactions are hilarious and heartwarming. All six episodes of Radical Cram School are now available on YouTube. Check it out:



The idea for Radical Cram School came when co-producer Theodore Chao, a professor of Education at Ohio State University, realized his 9-year-old daughter Liberty and her friends were internalizing the racist and misogynistic rhetoric surrounding the 2016 Trump campaign.

"We co-produced this series not just for people like our daughter, but for everyone," Chao says. "The videos are great ways to engage in difficult conversations about racism, misogyny, intersectionality, and resistance for young people."



Wong, a comedian and provocateur best known for acclaimed stage shows such as "Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "The Wong Street Journal," and the viral digital series "How To Pick Up Asian Chicks," says applying her unique brand of comedy to her first digital series for children was a challenge.

"Translationg my biting humor for children was intimidating," Wong says. "I was inspired by the Radical Monarchs in Oakland -- an alternative to the Girl Scouts whose curriculum centers on the experiences of their brown and black girl members. Radical Cram School gives young Asian American girls a similar space to process their experiences and learn now to be allies to other social movements."