IRVING, Texas – In a letter sent to scouting families Monday, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced its support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The BSA’s National Executive Committee pointed out that the organization wasn’t living up to one of the 12 points of The Scout Law – bravery.
“Brave means taking action because it is the right thing to do and being an upstander even when it may prompt criticism from some,” wrote the committee. “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.”
The BSA went on to say that there is no place for racism in scouting or in its communities, and it won’t 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 committee wrote.
The organization also said it would be introducing a specific diversity and inclusion merit badge that will be required to become an 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,” wrote the committee.
Additionally, the BSA is also committing to reviewing every element of its programs to ensure diversity and inclusion are ingrained at every level for participants and volunteers by applying a standard that promotes racial equality and denounces racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice.
It’s requiring diversity and inclusion training for all BSA employees starting July 1 and taking action toward introducing a version for volunteers
And lastly, the organization is conducting a review of property names, events and insignia 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.