Just a few months ago, I shared my thoughts about what was happening
in our society and our commitment at Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida
to be a positive force for change and progress when it comes to
diversity, equity and inclusion. I also shared the optimism and hope
that I feel watching our young people work tirelessly to build a
society that is truly equal for all people.
Over these months, much has happened. Nationally, Girl Scouts of the
USA pledged to take a stand against racism. You can read and sign the
They have assembled leaders from across our Movement to work at the
national level to help shape Girl Scouts’ commitment to DEI at all
operational levels. I have raised my hand to be part of this work and
look forward to being able to contribute in a meaningful way. They
have formed a DEI/racial justice board advisory committee made up of
members of the national board, council board chairs, GSUSA staff, and
National Gold Award Girl Scouts to establish the vision, strategy, and
accountability for the Girl Scout Movement. And they are partnering
with external consultants to guide these efforts.
Locally, I am very proud of the work that has been done to date. In
August, members of our GSSEF staff formed an Equity Team. This team
spent the first several weeks talking about why this work was
important and why each of us wanted to be part of it. We each
committed to our own personal journey of learning. And we created a
vision for DEI at GSSEF and developed a purpose statement and guiding
principles for our work. I wanted to share those with you today.
Our vision for Girl Scouts of Southeast
Florida is to be just, fair, and inclusive; acting as a catalyst to
drive equitable decision-making, resource allocation, and development
of policies and practices across the Council.
The purpose of the Girl Scouts of Southeast
Florida Equity Team is to introduce and implement ideas, information,
and experiences that uphold our Council’s unwavering commitment to
diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Our Guiding Principles
- We are committed to diversity and to a global and
- We actively seek to understand
the complex and rich identities of self and others, and to lean into
difficult topics related to diversity and inclusion.
has no place in Girl Scouts. We adhere to and advance an anti-racist
approach to the leadership of the girls within our membership.
- We are an inclusive organization. We listen to, learn from, and
support all members regardless of race, color, gender
identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, creed, national origin,
socioeconomic status, or disability.
- We are an
ever-evolving team who prioritizes listening and learning in all
that we do.
Our work has only just begun. We have done a preliminary audit at
GSSEF to identify some gaps and develop strategies to address those
gaps. We have begun conversations with our colleagues about how we
will collaboratively work toward our purpose.
Our Girl Experience Team has also been hard at work introducing
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion experiences for girls. In August, we
partnered with the Racial Equity Institute on a series of
conversations with girls on this important topic. And in October, we
launched a patch program that provided age-appropriate live
experiences as well as activity packs for girls to do throughout the
month. Both of these programs were very well received, and we look
forward to providing more experiences for girls moving forward.
So what’s next? Well, we would love to invite our members
into this important conversation. We want to hear from girls and their
families, and from our volunteers, about their own experiences in Girl
Scouts and what you would like to see from GSSEF as we work to ensure
that all girls and volunteers feel welcome, encouraged, and empowered.
Joining us is easy! Simply register for one of the following
sessions. You will receive an email link to participate once you have
registered. Here are the details:
Monday, January 4, 6-7:30 p.m. – Registered Girl Scouts and
Caregivers (Girls of all grade levels are welcome). Register
Tuesday, January 5, 6-7:30 p.m. – Registered Girl Scouts ONLY –
Open to Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors.
Wednesday, January 6-7:30 p.m. – Registered Girl Scout ADULT
Volunteers ONLY. Register here
Can’t make it, but want to share your thoughts and ideas? Please
feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer
to schedule time to talk with me personally, you can email Anna
Laoretti at email@example.com and she will
We look forward to sharing more with you in 2021!
Lisa Y. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida