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Girl Scouts Stands Against Racism and Pledges to Work for a Just Society for All

  1. Leadership. Girl Scouts of the USA is forming a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce at the national board level to help create an organization that works for all girls, including by ensuring that Black, Indigenous, Latina, and all girls of color feel supported, welcomed, and treated with dignity and respect. In addition, we will create a DEI/Racial Justice Steering Committee made up of national staff and Girl Scout council CEOs to help guide and prioritize our work. 
  2. Staff. This change starts from within, so Girl Scouts commits to strengthening hiring practices that help us reflect the communities we serve. We will also support and train all Girl Scout staff in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and pursue in earnest the ongoing work of recognizing and challenging our own biases and internalized racism.
  3. Volunteers.  The strength of our organization rests among our more than 700,000 dedicated volunteers. We will provide additional resources, training, and support to ensure these champions of girls are equipped to serve all girls equitably.
  4. Most importantly, Girls. All girls’ voices must be heard. We will provide all girls a place where they feel heard, and where they have the resources and support they need to raise their voices and change their corner of the world.
Racial Justice Resources For Parents
Racial Justice Resources For Girls
A Message From CEO, Kim E. Fraites-Dow

Dear GSEP Community: 

This weekend we saw a massive collective response to systemic racism; I am not an expert but I do want to acknowledge these events and that we can, and must, talk about these issues and figure out together what we can do to be a part of the solution.

As you know the vision for Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania is to be known as the premier leadership organization for girls that is driven by an engaged community of volunteers, members, alumnae, partners, and staff, and supported by an organizational culture of service, learning, and growth. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Our girls are compelled to act as empathetic problem-solvers, to introduce innovation where they see injustice. Girls are encouraged to discover more about themselves, connect with others and value the power of diversity, and to take action to make our world a better place.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Chris Cooper - these names (plus so many more) and their stories, the racism and xenophobia towards people of color in the news, are painful reminders why we need to learn more about racism and work to become an antiracist organization.  In the words of Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist: "We know how to be racist. We know how to pretend to be not racist. Now let's know how to be antiracist."

Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, in the spirit of service, learning, and growth, is committed to do this work.  It is our responsibility - being antiracist is essential to our mission to make the world a better place for all people.

Our community, our family of Girl Scouts is very diverse, and everyone is hurting right now. Some of us are hurting because every day of our lives is spent in fear for our families and our children in the realization that some people hold hate in their hearts because we are black. Still others feel guilt and outrage that hate still exists in this country because of the color of someone’s skin. Still others feel scared because our communities are literally burning down. Others are desperate to understand how to help, and how to speak with their children about what is going on. Many of us are just waking up to what we haven’t been doing for years, despite holding no hate in our hearts. Many have a mix of all these emotions and many more. We are in this together. Everyone has a voice. Everyone has feelings. Everyone has a place in Girl Scouts.

The GSEP staff team created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee a couple years ago to help take the work we have started doing on cultural bias and diversity training and make sure it becomes part of the fabric of our organization. We realize, even more through these events, how important this work is…and how much more work we need to do. We will be spending time educating ourselves, sharing resources with our greater GSEP community, e.g., ways to talk with your children about race, training and education resources for volunteers, ways to contribute to causes supporting this work, petitions to sign to make sure our representatives understand what is important to us.

We will be creating a Racial Justice webpage on our website in the coming days where you will find ready to run programs, tools from the Girl Scout Research Institute’s Raising Awesome Girls, older girl service projects that have been based in racial justice, and many more resources for education and advocacy. We will look at the best ways for our GSEP Community to come together to talk about this important work, and hopefully create additional programs, trainings, and resources for all of us.

Thank you for your sisterhood, for your love, and for your dedication to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Yours in Girl Scouting, 

Kim 

CEO, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania 

Learn More About Racial Justice From These Books

Most Loved in All the World
by Tonya Cherie Hegamin

An authentic and powerful account of slavery and how a handmade quilt helps a little girl leave home for freedom.

Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
by Jonah Winter 

An elderly African American woman, en route to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

20 Picture Books for 2020: Readings to Embrace Race, Provide Solace & Do Good
Embrace Race

Please use these books to help you do the work of making the world a safer, more equitable place for all children.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning
by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

This is NOT a history book.

This is a book about the here and now.

A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.

A book about race.

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.

Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

Antiracist Baby
by Ibram X. Kendi

With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.

1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide
compiled by Marley Dias

This resource guide was created in direct response to the multiple requests made by educators, parents and students. Like Marley Dias, so many of you have asked for books with black girls as the main characters. And because of you, we have received thousands of books. Here we are sharing with you the first 1000 titles.  We have not yet catalogued all the books. As a small organization with only no full-time staff, our resources are limited.  Beginning in April, each month we will provide you with updates of new book titles.

Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!
by Marley Dias

Marley Dias, the powerhouse girl-wonder who started the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign, speaks to kids about her passion for making our world a better place, and how to make their dreams come true!

Marley Dias, the powerhouse girl-wonder who started the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign, speaks to kids about her passion for making our world a better place, and how to make their dreams come true!

All the Colors of the Earth
by Sheila Hamanaka  

Celebrate the colors of children and the colors of love—not black or white or yellow or red, but roaring brown, whispering gold, tinkling pink, and more.

Included in Brightly's list of recommended diverse poetry picture books for kids, this beautifully illustrated book "celebrates the beauty of diversity to the fullest through engaging, rhyming text," commented Charnaie Gordon in her Brightly review. All the Colors of the Earth "would be a wonderful book to use in multicultural classrooms in schools."


Racial Justice Town Hall

Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania recently hoasted our first ever Racial Justice Town Hall for girls. We encourage you to watch and share the recording of the panel discussion and continue the conversation using the tools below.

An invitation To Stand With Us Against Racism


Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP) recently hosted our first ever Racial Justice Town Hall for girls (in grades 4-12). The five of us were part of the Planning Committee, and this Town Hall was an amazing, impactful experience that has encouraged our attendees to use their voices to transform what citizens in this country believe and how we all behave concerning Racial Justice. 

If you missed the event, you can still be part of this transformative experience. A recording of the panel discussion was uploaded to GSEP’s YouTube channel, and we know that hearing the stories and perspectives of our panelists will open your eyes and minds about what racial justice looks like in America and Eastern Pennsylvania, specifically. 

The one-hour panel discussion was moderated by Loraine Ballard Morrill, GSEP board member and award-winning Director of News and Community Affairs for iHeartMedia Philadelphia, and featured local young women from schools in our region, who shared how they have used their voices to bring about real change in their own lives and communities.

We encourage you to watch the recording of this panel discussion on Racial Justice as a troop, family, or group. Then, we suggest you take some time afterward to reflect on what you’ve all heard and have some courageous conversations with your girls about what Racial Justice looks like in your own communities and how you and they can make our communities – and the world – a better place for all of us.

To facilitate discussion after viewing the recording, we have created guiding questions to help girls think about the video they watched and talk about their thoughts on the major issue of Racial Justice as well as individual actions that they themselves can take to effect real change.  

For more information, please explore this page. We know that girls are a powerful force for good and we want to encourage them to use their voices to be the leaders the world needs. 

Thank you in advance for being part of the change we want to see in this world. 

Yours in Girl Scouting,

    Terri Boyer & Joann Gonzalez-Generals
    GSEP Board Members & co-chairs of the Membership Strategy Committee

    Paris G., Mikayla H., and Rachael T.
    Girl Advisors to the Board

Discussion Tools