As our country reckons with racial injustice, we all must consider our role and our failures and commit to meaningful action.
The twelve points of the Scout Law that define a Scout are all important, but at this moment, we are called on to be brave. Brave means taking action because it is the right thing to do and being an upstander even when it may prompt criticism from some. We realize we have not been as brave as we should have been because, as Scouts, we must always stand for what is right and take action when the situation demands it.
There is no place for racism – not in Scouting and not in our communities. Racism will not be tolerated.
We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and all those who are not named but are equally important. We hear the anguish, feel the heartbreak, and join the country’s resolve to do better.
The Boy Scouts of America stands with Black families and the Black community because we believe that Black Lives Matter. This is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue and one we all have a duty to address. That is why, as an organization, we commit to:
- Introducing a specific diversity and inclusion merit badge that will be required for the rank of Eagle Scout. It will build on components within existing merit badges, including the American Cultures and Citizenship in the Community merit badges, which require Scouts to learn about and engage with other groups and cultures to increase understanding and spur positive action.
- Reviewing every element of our programs to ensure diversity and inclusion are engrained at every level for participants and volunteers by applying a standard that promotes racial equality and denounces racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice.
- Requiring diversity and inclusion training for all BSA employees starting July 1 and taking immediate action toward introducing a version for volunteers in the coming months.
- Conducting a review of property names, events and insignia, in partnership with local councils, to build on and enhance the organization’s nearly 30-year ban on use of the Confederate flag and to ensure that symbols of oppression are not in use today or in the future.
These are our next steps but certainly not our last.
We will also continue to listen more, learn more and do more to promote a culture in which every person feels that they belong, are respected, and are valued in Scouting, in their community, and across America.
As a movement, we are committed to working together with our employees, volunteers, youth members, and communities so we can all become a better version of ourselves and continue to prepare young people to become the leaders of character our communities and our country need to heal and grow.
Yours in Scouting,
The Boy Scouts of America, National Executive Committee
Dan Ownby – National Chair
Roger Mosby – President and CEO
Scott Sorrels – National Commissioner