Girl Scouts in the region can earn a patch that shows their commitment to equity.
Girl Scouts of Western New York, which covers Monroe and eight other counties, has introduced its Girl Scouts Values Anti-Racism Patch.
The patch was created by GSWNY’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and involves activities for scouts at any grade level and offers ways to start conversations about racial equity.
Of the Girl Scouts who disclose their race, 15% are nonwhite, according to data from the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. One-quarter of scouts do not list their race. Data were not available for only Monroe County.
The patch is specific to troops in Western New York and a spok A spokeswoman said that at this point, there were not plans to announce the patch nationally. However, she said councils tend to see what others are doing, and girls outside the area could participate.
To earn the patch, girls must complete at least one activity from Activities and Conversations and Stand Up, Speak Up. The tasks range from creating art that celebrates diversity and inclusion to researching and learning about holidays or traditions such as Juneteenth, freedom fighters such as Frederick Douglass and Mary Talbert or explore diversity in the community. They also can study the Underground Railroad, select a social justice movement to research such as Black Lives Matter, Pride, or disability rights, or they can write a letter to local officials calling for social justice reform.
The Anti-Racism Patch provides resources and a glossary for girls to explore the vocabulary of diversity, equity and inclusion. The patch teaches girls to speak up, speak out, and take action for fairness, equality, civility, and compassion for all people.
“As an organization that supports all girls, we are also clear that our girls of color face a disproportionate amount of discrimination in their everyday lives which makes this D.E.I. work so critical,” Alison Wilcox, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Western New York, wrote in a news release.
“Although, GSWNY makes a concerted effort for D.E.I., we can always do more and this patch will build upon other helpful initiatives that will be rolled out during the year to help girls and their families gain a deeper understanding and create more dialogue around the importance of D.E.I. at all levels in and outside of Girl Scouts.”
The Girls Scouts are open to girls ages 5 to 17.
For more information, go to www.gswny.org or call (888) 837-6410.