Girl Scout Family and Friends,
Over the last few weeks we have all watched with horror and frustration the instances of brutality emblazoned on our televisions and devices. You're probably wondering what can I do? How did we get to this place? Is there a balm to heal this festering old wound?
We may not share the same political beliefs or faith traditions, but as Girl Scouts we share common values. Each day, we work to instill in girls the fundamental values of respect for all through our program which promotes inclusion, equity, and fairness. We teach girls to speak out when they see injustice and to speak up when something is wrong.
Our council is committed to promoting the ideals of racial equality. However, we want to ensure it goes beyond the current bandwagon environment. We also want to make sure we provide the tools necessary for courageous conversations and collective growth. There are several badge programs we plan to make available for our troops, and training sessions for our leaders and staff. These first steps will help us do our part to adequately prepare girls for life in a diverse world.
The Girl Scout program is built on the Discover, Connect and Take Action model. The events around us have helped many to Discover the need for real change. We have been forced to make the Connection as to why injustice still exists, and it is a question we must continue examining. However, the final challenge compels us to Take Action, which can only occur if we are willing to have honest conversations and devise intentional plans to make the world a better place.
National CEO Sylvia Acevedo reminds us that "For more than 100 years, we have prepared girls to be leaders in our world, to speak up, speak out, and take action for fairness, equality, civility, and compassion for all people, and to arm them with the courage, confidence, and character they need to make our world a better place. Girl Scouts will always stand for justice, for respect, and for the inherent value and worth of each individual who makes up the beautiful and richly diverse tapestry of the United States."
Racism is an age old problem that requires new approaches and fresh energy. So, let's get busy Girl Scouts - we have work to do.
Sue Else Laura Toms
CEO Board Chair