Dear Girl Scouts,
For the past month, I’ve struggled with what to say and do in the wake of the contentious election and all that’s happened since. As a woman, as a mother, and as leader of a youth development organization, I’m saddened by the divisiveness in our country and I’m appalled by the hate that has come out in this political cycle. Racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other blatant forms of bigotry seem to be on full display.
We’ve felt that impact especially strongly at our King County Regional Office, where a particularly vile racial message was recently scrawled next to our building. This is not the kind of speech ANY girl should see as she walks into a Girl Scout building, let alone anywhere else.
I don’t have a magic answer, but I do know that getting back to business as usual isn’t an option.
Girl Scouts of the USA has some ideas for how we can all work with our girls to take action, promote inclusion, and build unity within our community. As Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist, Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, puts it: “Unity doesn’t mean standing by or looking the other way in the face of bigotry and hatred. Real unity is what you get when a lot of very diverse people come together to form one complex yet seamless whole. It’s about equality, inclusiveness, and dignity.”
At Girl Scouts of Western Washington, we’ve also pledged to stand up for diversity, equity, and inclusion. There are times and situations that test this commitment, and this is one of them. In the coming months and years, I want to challenge each of us to be our best selves: to do everything we can to support our neighbors, to stand up for what’s right, and help our girls know that they are valued, important, and powerful.
We all have voices, and now is the time for us to raise them,
One way Girl Scouts can do that is to join us at a Town Hall meeting on Sunday, January 15 from 1:00-3:00 pm at Lakeridge Elementary School on Mercer Island (8215 SE 78th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040). We’ll be holding a session for girls, volunteers, and our entire Girl Scout community to brainstorm how we can all stand up for diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are starting in King County, but if you are interested in a similar Town Hall in your area, please email Julie Wendell.
We are Girl Scouts. We stand up and do what’s right. Together, we can create a better future for EVERY girl.
All the best,
Girl Scouts of Western Washington
At Girl Scouts, we've pledged to stand up for diversity, equity, and inclusion. As part of this work, we're holding local Town Hall meetings for girls, volunteers, and our entire Girl Scout community to brainstorm how we can take action to support these important issues. Here are the next Town Halls: