Girl Scouts is a Movement and an organization that prides itself on promoting inclusivity and being a welcoming place for all girls. Within the last few months, the Girl Scout Movement has created a pledge to take action to support the Black community and Girl Scout members and their families in response to the social injustice we are seeing in the U.S. and around the world. Together, Girl Scouts hopes to use its collective power to create change and end systemic racism.
At Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, we are holding workshops with staff, working to ensure staff and volunteers reflect the diversity of the area we serve, and reaching out to under-represented communities to provide opportunities to girls so they can benefit from the Girl Scout program.
We are also partnering with the YWCA of Northern New Jersey on the 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge. The challenge is designed to give participants a “designated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership.” You can register for the challenge here.
Each business day, participants receive a link to an activity that may include listening to a podcast, reading an article, or reflecting on personal experiences. These activities are designed to help community members connect, identify ways to eliminate racism in the community, and see how racism affects the communities in which we live. The challenge started on September 9 but it will be easy to catch up if you start later.
I am proud that the staff of Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey are signed up for this challenge and so are many of our adult members. I encourage everyone to join the challenge to educate yourself about the issues and learn what you can do to help to create racial equity and social justice in our communities.
Many of us have been raised not to talk about race and I know this topic may be uncomfortable to address. The 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge will assist in jumpstarting uncomfortable conversations. We can only make progress when we learn about and identify problems and join together as a community to work toward impactful and lasting change.
As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."