Girl Scouts and YWCA Greater Baltimore Unite For Equality with New Racial Justice Patch

Two women's organization work together to empower girls and women and promote peace and dignity for all.

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Baltimore (PRWEB) February 10, 2013

Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM) and the YWCA Greater Baltimore have partnered to create a Racial Justice patch packet for girls in grades 4-10. As girls complete the activities associated with earning the patch, they will gain an awareness of and the skills to combat racial injustice in their personal lives, community and country. Both organizations have a long-standing commitment to equality and empowerment for girls and women.

“We are proud to partner with the YWCA to address this issue,” stated Traci A. Barnett, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. The Girl Scout organization has been an inclusive organization for decades, Barnett notes, inviting girls of all races, ability and backgrounds to be a part of this worldwide Movement. Barnett added that in 1917, Girl Scouts began establishing troops for people of color and in 1922 the first Latina troops were formed in Houston, Texas. Girl Scout troops also supported Japanese-American girls in internment camps in the 1940s and by the mid 1950s Girl Scouts was leading the charge to fully integrate all of its troops. Because of these efforts, in 1956 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called Girl Scouts "a force for desegregation." When Girl Scouts’ founder, Juliette Gordon Low, declared Girl Scouts "something for the girls of America and all the world," she meant it, said Barnett. “Something for everyone” has been at the heart of Girl Scouting from its earliest days.

Mary Chesnut, CEO of the YWCA Greater Baltimore said, “I cannot imagine a better fit for racial justice work than a partnership of the YWCA and Girl Scouts.” Nationally, the YWCA has been a leader in the struggle for racial equity and justice since its inception in the United States in 1858. In Baltimore, the YWCA’s work began in 1883, with the founding of the YWCA of Baltimore, and in 1896, when the Colored YWCA of Baltimore, or CYWCA, was founded. In 1920, the CYWCA and the YWCA of Baltimore merged to form one of the YWCA’s first interracial associations. That groundbreaking step set the stage for decades of racial equity and racial justice work to come. “The YWCA Greater Baltimore is honored to launch a natural alliance with the Girl Scouts with this patch packet on a topic of central importance to both our organizations,” said Chesnut.

The YWCA Greater Baltimore’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The Girl Scouts’ mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Together, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland and the YWCA Greater Baltimore hope to chip away at structural racism by working with young girls and teens to increase their awareness of the harmful effects of structural racism. The patch packet program will be rolled out in February through GSCM’s In-School program activities in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County. For more information about the Racial Justice patch packet contact Lorrie Caudle, Vice President, Membership, Volunteerism & Programs, lcaudle@gscm.org.
About Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
Girl Scouting in central Maryland began in 1913 with the Pikesville Poppies, the first troop in central Maryland. The Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Council was established in 1962. The Council delivers leadership development and self-esteem programs to nearly 27,000 girls in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties. For information about registering a girl in Girl Scouting or becoming a Girl Scout volunteer call 410.358.9711, email: join@gscm.org or visit gscm.org.

About the YWCA Greater Baltimore
Since 1883, the YWCA Greater Baltimore has stood with women, children and families struggling – sometimes against devastating odds – to build better lives for themselves and their communities. YWCA programs seek to support efforts by women and girls across the socioeconomic spectrum to achieve their dreams. Our supportive housing and affordable childcare programs help to ensure that the basic needs of hundreds of families in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, northern Anne Arundel County, and Harford County are met every year.


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