Dear Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Friends:
Like many of you, we are mourning the Black lives lost at the hand of racism. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other victims known and unknown, and to the Black community across the United States. To the Black Americans in our Girl Scout community: We see you. We hear you. We are with you. We support you.
Girl Scouts has always been rooted in activism and advocacy, and we stand in solidarity with the peaceful protestors across the United States who are lifting their voices against systemic racism, unlawful police brutality, hatred, and anti-Blackness in our country. What we are seeing in the media is only a glimpse of the distressing reality Black Americans have endured for generations. To say it frankly, addressing the pervasive racism in our country and rallying for real structural change is long overdue.
Currently, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts is joining with sister Girl Scout councils across the country, which includes the cities of Minneapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York City. We are learning from each other’s experiences and taking action to address the systemic racism, imbalances in representation, and outright fear experienced by Black Americans within our communities, membership, and staff.
As the preeminent girl leadership organization, we take this time in history as a call-to-action to amplify Black voices, and support our Girl Scouts as they become lifelong advocates. As we identify the best way to create change within GSEMA, including new programming, educational opportunities, and town hall events, we will be looking to collaborate with you, along with our staff, board of directors, and outside experts. Together we need to ensure our organization is structured to address racism and injustice head-on. Communications will be forthcoming on how you can get involved as a GSEMA member.
Since our founding more than 100 years ago, Girl Scouts has been, and will continue to be, an organization with progressive beliefs. Girl Scouts helps girls understand the world outside their home through the eyes of their peers. Our sisterhood calls out to members of all abilities and racial, social, and economic backgrounds to grow and learn from each other. We celebrate our commonalities and differences with open minds, build lifelong relationships, and engage in educational programs that open new opportunities to girls. Girl Scouts recognize injustice and take action, from civics to community service to becoming Gold Award Girl Scouts. This is a critical time for girls to learn what it takes to be a true citizen and leader.
If you are looking for resources to talk to your children about racism, we recommend Girl Scouts’ blog and Raising Awesome Girls platform, which have resources including, Why Tolerance Isn’t Working and How to Talk to Your Girl About Scary News. In addition, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched Talking About Race, an online portal providing tools and resources on the topics of race, racial identity, and how they influence every aspect of society.
Like you, we don’t have all the answers. But we are committed to navigating this path with you as an ally and advocate for the Black members of our community. For more than 100 years, we have stood for making the world a better place, and we encourage you to speak out, as Girl Scouts do, for what is right.
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts