Dear Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council Membership,
Over the past few days, we have thought about the best way to address our membership in light of so much pain following the senseless death of George Floyd and violence towards peaceful protestors voicing their outrage to this and too many other injustices. Finding the right words to appropriately address this tragedy has truly been a struggle.
Watching our community come to terms with the images playing repeatedly in the media has brought to the forefront the long overdue awareness of the magnitude of discrimination our Black, Brown and Indigenous sisters and brothers live through every day. As a Girl Scout Movement, we won’t remain silent. For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has prepared girls to be leaders in our world. Girl Scouts will always stand for justice, for respect and for the inherent value and worth of each individual.
Hate and racism have no place in our organization, our communities or our world. Today, we affirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with individuals and groups impacted, and the organizations dedicated to eradicating hate and racism for good. We commit to being an ally by making every effort to fully learn the relevant history and current issues. We commit to examining how privilege, bias and oppression impact all our lives. We commit to continued action and to be a productive part of the solutions to these issues as members of the community and the Girl Scout Movement.
We ask you to join and learn with us. By asking questions and using our voices, we can bring change to the communities we live in. We recognize that we are all beginning our journey from different starting points and many of us have not experienced the fear of being judged by the color of our skin. For those who have, we hear you.
As adults in Girl Scouts, we will not remain silent and we will stand with our girls and members of color in words and actions as we work to create a more equitable community where all of our children can thrive. And, most importantly, we must find ways to support girls, as they struggle to understand what this means in their lives.
As you talk to your daughters and sons about racism, there are excellent resources on the Raising Awesome Girls site:
- Help Your Kids Take Action Against Racism
- Why Tolerance Isn’t Working
- How to Talk to Your Girl About Scary News
Girl Scouts face difficult situations together. We will courageously learn and explore. We will advocate and act with character. We may not always get it right, but we will keep trying. With time, education and dialogue, we can use our collective voices, talents, and power to truly make the world a better place for all.
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Tammy H. Wharton Amy Franko
President & CEO Board Chair