Girl Scouts of Western New York announced its new Girl Scout Values: Anti-Racism Patch that is a reflection of a commitment to Girl Scout values that foster a community of justice, fairness and inclusion.
A press release said, “Girl Scouts prepares girls to be leaders in the world, speak up, speak out, and take action for fairness, equality, civility and compassion for all people, and to arm girls with the courage, confidence and character needed to make the world a better place.”
Created by GSWNY’s diversity, equity and inclusion (D.E.I.) committee, this new anti-racism patch features engaging activities for girls at any grade level. It presents a list of D.E.I. resources for girls to learn and start related conversations at home and in Girl Scout troops.
To earn the patch, girls complete at least one “Activities & Conversations” at least one “Stand Up, Speak Up” activity that range from drawing a picture or piece of art that celebrates diversity and inclusion to researching and learning about cultural holidays or traditions such as Juneteenth, WNY’s local ties to freedom fighters such as Frederick Douglass and Mary Talbert; exploring diversity in the community through the census and learning what it means to have a diverse community; learning about the Underground Railroad and selecting a social justice movement to research such as Black Lives Matter, Pride or disability rights to share what they have learned with their family and friends; or writing a letter to local government officials calling for social justice reform and more.
The anti-racism patch also provides other helpful resources and a key terms guide for girls to explore introductory D.E.I. terminology. Girls build their knowledge in this subject area as they learn how to speak up, speak out, and take action for fairness, equality, civility and compassion for all people.
“As an organization that supports all girls, we are also clear that our girls of color face a disproportionate amount of discrimination in their everyday lives, which makes this D.E.I. work so critical,” said Alison Wilcox, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western New York. “Although, GSWNY makes a concerted effort for D.E.I., we can always do more and this patch will build upon other helpful initiatives that will be rolled out during the year to help girls and their families gain a deeper understanding and create more dialogue around the importance of D.E.I. at all levels in and outside of Girl Scouts.”
Also, anyone who believes in the importance of standing against racism and working for a just society for all can also sign the GSUSA pledge. GSWNY invites the community to learn more about the new anti-racism patch and how it can work as a constructive tool for developing a deeper understanding about D.E.I. for all. In the words of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low, “The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.”
To learn more about Girl Scouts, attend a free upcoming event (virtual or in-person). Girls ages 5-17 can join Girl Scouts while adults age 18 and older can volunteer anytime. For more information, call 1-888-837-6410 or visit www.gswny.org.
Girl Scouts of Western New York serves nearly 15,000 girls and 7,000 adult volunteers across the GSWNY jurisdiction, including Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The council’s administrative service centers are located in Batavia, Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls and Rochester.