Dear Girl Scout families & friends,
I have spent the past week searching for the right words to lift and inspire and sadly I write to you today having not been able to accomplish that. There are no words that adequately convey the sadness, angst, and disappointment I am feeling right now. Some of you may be feeling the same. Our nation is in a state of pain that defies explanation or justification. In the past few weeks the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have forced into the national narrative the ugly truths about race relations in the United States. Racism is not a thing of our past, and the real and violent consequences of racist policies are felt every day, particularly by Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color.
As members of a Movement that embraces 1.7 million girls from all walks of life, myriad religions, colors and hues and, a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds from all across our nation -- we can’t be silent. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once described Girl Scouts as "a force for desegregation." Today, Girl Scouts continues to strive to be a force for equality and equity for all people.
I am proud that Girl Scouts has always been dedicated to being inclusive, and I know that, as part of this organization, we have a Promise, we have a Law, and we have our founder’s vision to stand on. Juliette Gordon Low believed in inclusivity, diversity, equality, and fairness. She believed that girls should be leaders. And she proclaimed that Girl Scouts was for all girls.
Today, to make the world a better place for all people, I ask that we as individuals and as an organization reaffirm our commitment to inclusion, and racial justice. I want to explore additional ways we can incorporate solutions that promote social justice into our programming. We get better by doing better.
I know many people are struggling to find the right words talk to their children about the issues surrounding these tragic times. While this is not an easy task, it is necessary, for this is how we can change the world and our future. If you are seeking guidance on how to begin these conversations with children of all ages, please find below a number of resources as guides:
This is a moment for us all to stand up and speak out against racism and violence, and speak up for justice and equality. We must bring the same passion we have when we champion the Girl Scout Movement to work for racial justice in our beautifully diverse country.
Violet M. Apple Chief Executive Officer