Make no mistake, racism is wrong. As a sisterhood 2.5 million strong, Girl Scouts are encouraged to come as they are, discover their passions, and create lasting change in their communities. Together as one unit, it is our mission to create a safe and welcoming space for all girls to reach their fullest potential, committing to speak up against wrongdoings, show our support, and truly make the world a better place for all girls.
We are committed to empowering girls to speak out and stand up against racial injustice and all other forms of discrimination. Using tools such as education and empathy, we aim to unite girls across the country to find shared experiences and celebrate different backgrounds. Through these actions, we can all aspire to Be a Better Sister to one another.
With our new patch program, Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast challenges girls to open their eyes to the experiences of others in three different parts: Discover, Connect and Take Action. Girls of all age levels will learn more about individuals from different backgrounds, share their own experiences, and commit to being a better sister.
For this portion of the patch, girls will take a Virtual City Tour to discover historical events that have happened near them, explore local landmarks, and find out more about their city. They will also take a closer look at female activists that helped create change in their communities. With this knowledge, girls will have a greater understanding of their city’s history, the people that reside in it, and how everyone has the power to make a difference.
“Our diversity of faiths and colors and creeds – that is not a threat to who we are. It makes us who we are.” – Girl Scout Alum, Michelle Obama
In this section, Girl Scouts will take a more personal approach by sharing their own experiences with racism. By reflecting on the times they have witnessed or experienced any form of discrimination or bullying, they will better understand how to identify it, recognize how it might make others feel, and become empowered to speak up when they see it.
Additionally, girls can share their stories with other Girl Scouts across the nation through Coast to Coast Pen Pals. We encourage all participants to learn more about the experiences of other girls, whether it be locally, nationally, or internationally, to better understand that not one day-to-day lifestyle is the same as another! With an open mind and honest discussion, it is our goal to broaden the perspective of each individual.
Our intentions are best represented through our actions, which is why as a part of this program, we are challenging Girl Scouts to share the ways that they can Be A Better Sister. Does it include reaching out to a quiet girl in class to sit with you at lunch? Does it mean proposing a more racially inclusive reading list to your school’s English department? Does it involve sitting down with friends and family members to discuss the ways you can create a more welcoming community for all?
However you choose to Take Action, we are asking that all girls take GSUSA’s Pledge Against Racism as well as our Be A Better Sister Program Pledge.
GSCCC #BeABetterSister Pledge
I pledge to Be a Better Sister to every Girl Scout.
I will have the courage to speak out and stand up against racism and all other forms of discrimination wherever I see it. I will use my voice and my resources to make our communities a better place for all.
I will appreciate all of the ways that we are unique, and to respect each difference. I will work with my friends, family, and fellow Girl Scouts to spread kindness and compassion.
I will continue to educate myself and my loved ones on the experiences of others. I will learn from and reflect on backgrounds that are different from mine.
I will continue to take action against all social injustice, near and far. Using our collective power, we can help create lasting, sustainable change in each neighborhood and beyond.
As a Girl Scout, I believe in sisterhood, fairness, and justice for all. I pledge to lead by example, and to make sure that every voice is heard.
With this new patch program, we hope that girls will be able to recognize all of the wonderful things that make us unique while acknowledging that we are all a part of a greater whole. As individuals and as Girl Scouts, we each have the responsibility to look out for one another. We hope that girls’ work to be inclusive, empathetic, and understanding doesn’t end with this program. Rather, we encourage that this be the first step in truly creating a more just world for girls everywhere.
Check out the full patch program guide and more on our site at www.girlscoutsccc.org/beabettersister.