side menu icon

Racism and Hate Have No Place in Girl Scouting: A Message from GSOSW


Dear Girl Scout Volunteers and Families,

Our communities, our country and our world are hurting. As we manage the impact of a global pandemic and resulting economic crisis, a series of violent acts against Black Americans remind us of the centuries-old plague of systemic racism that our country also faces. To those hurting deeply in this pivotal moment: your Girl Scout community sees you and stands with you.

For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has prepared girls to be leaders in our world, to speak up, speak out, and take action for fairness, equity, civility, and compassion for all people. Girl Scouts will always stand for justice, for respect, and for the inherent value and worth of each individual. Racism and hate have no place in Girl Scouting.

To live our values and set an example for the girls we serve, it is not enough to simply say what we stand for. We must match our words with action.

Taking Action as Girl Scout Staff
One way GSOSW staff are taking action is through a continuation of our organization's equity learning. Beginning this month, we will close to the public* on the fourth Thursday of each month through October 2020 and gather virtually for staff training to learn, reflect and actively apply this learning to the work of Girl Scouting. This action is just one part of ongoing equity work, which aims to make GSOSW an organization where all girls, families and volunteers feel welcome, represented and empowered.

Taking Action as Girl Scout Members
As adults in Girl Scouting, we also have an important role in helping girls understand, process and take action, too. We encourage you to use the tools and resources below to help guide conversations with girls, and encourage them to make their voices heard—with bold moves like advocating for positive change in their local communities and standing up against injustice:

We want all girls to know the power they have to make a difference, and understand the pathways available to them to lead positive change through civic action. That’s why now through the end of 2020, any GSOSW Girl Scout who earns a Citizen badge—Good Neighbor, Celebrating Community, Inside Government, Finding Common Ground, Behind the Ballot, or Public Policy—will receive that badge for free. Learn more about this program.

Girl Scouting is not just something girls do, it’s who they are. It’s who we are. This is a moment to put our values into action—our courage, our confidence, our character—to make our community, our country and our world a better, more just, equitable and compassionate place.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Karen Hill
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington

*While GSOSW is fully operational and continuing our work, GSOSW service centers and shops are currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If our facilities are able to reopen prior to the end of October 2020, service centers and shops will close on the first Thursday of the month.

We Want to Hear From You
Contact us to share your thoughts, or to let us know how your troop or family is taking action to make the world a better place.

More From Girl Scouts
What Girl Scouts Stands For: A Message From GSUSA CEO, Sylvia Acevedo