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A Message from Our CEO


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Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes values inclusivity and diversity and we stand firmly and strongly against racism in any form. Our black and brown communities are expressing deep pain brought to a head by the sickening death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police. We commit to listening unflinchingly with an open heart and learning. This expression widely shared by white communities on social media resonates, “I understand that I will never fully understand, yet I choose to stand.”

Our Council is no different from other predominantly white councils in the country in that we know we have lots to learn. We are committed to this journey for our staff and our members. Last year, our staff began a guided journey of inclusion to further the conversation and actions needed to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at GSNWGL and to prepare us to better serve girls and volunteers of all backgrounds. So, while we may not have all the answers, we are listening, and we are learning. In addition, be on the lookout for the upcoming release of GSUSA’s Raising Awesome Girls tool kit on how to have conversations with girls about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we will continue to provide resources we believe will be valuable to our families and volunteers.

Racial justice is worth the work. It is worth speaking up for and respectfully calling out learning opportunities for ourselves and our peers. Girl Scouts has always been a model for a better world and we are committed to the work of that process locally, nationally, and globally.

In solidarity,

Karmen Lemke


Using Girl Scouts to Navigate Tough Times

We know that after the tragic killing of George Floyd and the grief and protests that have followed many of our Girl Scouts are struggling to make sense of what they see on TV, social media, and in their own communities. In times like these, we rely on our Girl Scout Law more than ever. We ask girls to be considerate and caring, and courageous and strong as they confront systemic racism, privilege when and where they have it, and the experiences of themselves and others. For troop leaders and girls alike, these can be uncomfortable, but important conversations. Using the Girl Scouts three keys to leadership we can take girls from a place of grief and confusion, to a place of courage, confidence, and character.

Discover the experiences of other people, our own privilege when and where we have it, and the root causes of systemic racism.
Books
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown
I am Enough by Grace Byers
The Streets are Free by Kurusa
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez
Path to the Stars by Sylvia Acevedo
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Videos
Systemic Racism Explained
The Danger of a Single Story
Articles
Teaching About Race, Racism And Police Violence
What Our Country Needs Right Now Is You
Talking to Your Daughter About Extreme Violence and Other Horrific Events
Help Your Kids Take Action Against Racism
Connect what is happening nationally to your own community.
Are there protests in your community? What messages are they sharing?
What are the people of color in your community saying?
Where do you see the impacts of systemic racism in your community?
What impact does the current state of policing have on your community?
What are the businesses and organizations in your community saying? Are they quiet right now, or are they speaking out?
What are your mayor, city council, and police force saying or doing?

Take Action to make the world a better place.
Once you have taken the time to learn and find some root causes, try educating and inspiring others to act, advocating at a city state or national level, or creating a project that will make a lasting change. This work would be very worthy of a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. Check out our Take Action Guide to learn more about planning a project.