Meet Ana and read about her Gold Award project, Using Education to Fight Racism
In Girl Scouts we build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
Since our founding more than 100 years ago, Girl Scouts has been, and will continue to be, an organization rooted in activism and advocacy— ultimately making the world a better place. As we reflect on this core value, we are reminded that our world comprises many different people with unique cultures, values, and traditions.
It is with this “one world” and not a “divided world” mindset that we work to build a truly anti-racist organization so that everyone belongs and has a voice. But it’s not enough to say it. We need to educate, support, and provide ways for our Girl Scouts to become lifelong advocates and allies for change.
Please see the following letters of commitment from all levels of the Girl Scout organization that reflect this sentiment:
At Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, we commit to doing all we can by 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 quick 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 steadfast work to become an anti-racist organization. We are committed to partner with experts in the areas of race, inclusion, and equity, with a focus on girls and women. This will support the following actions we will take at Girl Scouts of Central Indiana and as identified in our most recent board-adopted strategic plan. We commit to the ongoing accountability, transparency, and organizational changes this work will require in the following areas:
Leadership. We will continue to engage a variety of voices through our staff diversity advisory teams. Their work will include, but not be limited to: strategic plan design, guidance for professional development for staff, and advice on the selection of community partners who will help deliver authentic, systemic-changing education regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. We will continue to recruit and retain ethnically and racially diverse board members. We will expand the ethnic and racial diversity of our leadership team and staff. We will examine all Girl Scouts of Central Indiana policies, procedures, practices, and programming through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Staff. We recognize that change starts from within, so at Girl Scouts of Central Indiana we commit to strengthening our hiring practices, so our team reflects the faces of the girls and adults we serve. This work is led by our vice president of talent and culture. We will also provide learning opportunities for staff that help us understand how to recognize and challenge our own biases and internalized racism, while using the opportunity to cascade what we’ve learned into the design of volunteer training and girl program.
Volunteers. The strength of our organization rests among our more than 9,000 volunteers. We will provide additional resources, training, and support to ensure these mentors of girls are equipped to serve all girls equitably and to confront all racism or bias.
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 the support they need to raise their voices and change their corner of the world.
· We will continue to add new programs and grow community relationships for girl education that represents various perspectives and implicit training. We will incorporate girl-input in the decision making to offer Girl Scout programming they believe will help girls in central Indiana find their voices and opportunities for advocacy.
· We commit to continuing to offer financial assistance to reduce barriers to Girl Scout program for all girls.
· We will bring diverse troops of girls and volunteers to learn from each other about how to build female leadership in inclusive environments.
· Will review the data and research about the changing demographics of central Indiana to ensure programming and recruitment efforts remain relevant.
Girl Scouts of Central Indiana will identify the barriers we have
created or allowed to exist that limit equal opportunities for all. We
are committed to understanding how Girl Scouts has or has not impacted
girls of different races, religions, ethnicities, socioeconomic
statuses, immigration statuses, sexual orientations, abilities, gender
identities, geographic locations, and those impacted by other forms of
bias and oppression. We must eliminate these barriers, responsively
change our culture and practices, and actively embrace inclusion as an
approach and an attitude. We will be allies, not bystanders, in the
face of discrimination and / or bigotry.
Please join us in our journey by visiting our webpage that’s dedicated to anti-racism to find council opportunities for girls and adults, as well as use our resource links to help lead your own conversations at home, within your community, or in your troop.
What We’re Reading, Watching, and Listening To…with Kids!
Here are the latest recommendations for the kids in your life!
> Dreamers . “This lovingly illustrated picture book memoir Yuyi Morales looks at the myriad gifts migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It’s a story about family. And it’s a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own strengths wherever we roam.”
> Julián Is a Mermaid . “In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.”
> The Owl House . “Luz Noceda [is] a Dominican American girl who ends up stumbling into a portal to another world where magic exists. Luz ends up being the apprentice to Eda the Owl Lady, the most powerful witch on the isle—oh, and a cute demon named King.”
> Vivo. A kinkajou, a rainforest mammal native to Central and South America, journeys in attempt “to deliver a song to his owner Andrés’s long-lost love in Miami from Cuba, with only the help of Andrés’s grandniece Gabi and the new animal friends he meets along the way.” More goodness: every main character is Latinx and voiced by a Latinx actor.
Highlighted workshops for adults:
Foundational Safe Zone Training, on your own time, The Safe Zone Project. This self-guided training will give you an opportunity to explore lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other marginalized genders and sexualities. Cost: $0–158
Funding Our Movements for Social Change, October 7, 6:00–8:00 p.m. ET, Truth School. Experienced fundraiser and social change activist Leti Bueno will talk in specific terms about funding social change work, including the importance of inspirational storytelling, healthy partnerships in philanthropy, and donor relationship building. Cost: free, but consider donating.
Taking on White Supremacy: Black and Asian American and Pacific Islander Solidarity, October 17, 2:00–4:00 p.m. ET, Truth School. We’ll discuss the long history of solidarity between Black and APPI communities and envision new ways of being in solidarity with each other in support of Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movements. Cost: free, but consider donating.
Young People of Color, October 21, 7:00–8:30 p.m. ET, Truth
School. Activist, teacher, musician, and mentor Steven
Hernandez will discuss what gives young people strength, what
challenges they face, what they need in order to keep going in the
face of hard times, and what they need from mentors. Cost: free,
but consider donating.
Girl Scouts of Central Indiana
Civil Rights Patch Curriculum
Giving back ideas for central Indiana girls, troops and
Visit Indy - Learn how Indianapolis is bringing people together to heal and make a difference during this difficult time.
Clean Up Efforts - Ways to take action in Indianapolis
The more you know - educational resources for girls, troops and families
Check back as we will be posting additional resources as they become available.