As Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida (GSTF) celebrates and commemorates Juneteenth, we declare our commitment to building a truly anti-racist organization. Racism goes against the values of Girl Scouts, and although we have acted to counter racism throughout our history, we know we have enormous work ahead of us to meet this objective. We also know that nothing changes if nothing changes, and this is a time we must prioritize these efforts. Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, along with 110 other Girl Scout councils and our national organization, GSUSA will engage in challenging discussions, center voices we haven’t listened to in the past, act with integrity, and learn from any missteps.
At Girl Scouts, we build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. In this moment of suffering in our nation, Girl Scouts commits to taking action to support Black girls, their families, and their communities. We want to reiterate to all girls, volunteers, alums, supporters, families, and staff that we do not tolerate racial injustice and we know that Black Lives Matter.
We commit to doing all we can, using our collective power, to help create the change in our communities that is long overdue. We will do our part to dismantle systemic racism. We recognize that this is far from easy or fast work, but we are Girl Scouts—we believe in sisterhood, justice, and fairness—so we are in it for the long haul. We take action when we see a need and we live by our Girl Scout Law, which demands we seek racial equity for everyone.
We teach girls to lead by example, and to that end, we are committed to doing the difficult work to become an anti-racist organization. Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida will work within our Movement and community to take action at all levels of our organization:
Leadership. GSTF board of directors is finalizing a strategic plan, wherein Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, with a focus on girls and women, is elevated as a strategic imperative. The board will engage cross-organizational analysis; set measurable goals to ensure our organization reflects the community we serve across all stakeholder groups; and evaluate policies and procedures to help create an organization that works for and supports all girls – including by ensuring that Black, Latina, and all girls of color feel supported, welcomed, and treated with dignity and respect.
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.
Volunteers. The strength of our organization rests among our more than 2,000 dedicated volunteers. We will provide additional resources, training, and support to ensure these champions of girls are equipped to serve all girls equitably.
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.
We are asking for all Girl Scouts—girls, volunteers, alums, supporters, families, staff, and our suppliers and service providers—to commit to taking action to make the world a more equitable place. We have a lot of work to do—we hope you will join us in working to create the just and equitable world that every girl, and all of us, deserve.