Boy Scouts Will Be Required to Earn a Diversity and Inclusion Badge

With the sexual assault scandal on hold, the Boy Scouts finally has time to address its racism problem

boy scouts of america
Future Boy Scouts will have the chance to earn a diversity badge.
Robb Reece/Getty Images

Suffice to say the Boy Scouts of America has some problems. That tends to happen to patriarchal institutions established by white men over a century ago (read: the United States of America). While that whole sexual assault thing is on hold amid the organization’s recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy declaration, the Boy Scouts have decided to tend to other corners of their garden — namely, the racism corner.

Amid the renewed focus on systemic racism in America following the unjust killing of George Floyd, the Boy Scouts of America has released a statement aligning itself with the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as vowing to address the organization’s own role in perpetuating racism.

“The Boy Scouts of America stands with Black families and the Black community because we believe that Black Lives Matter,” the organization wrote in a letter on Scoutingwire, the Boy Scouts’ official blog. “This is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue and one we all have a duty to address.”

The organization added that it will also be introducing a diversity and inclusion badge, which scouts will be required to earn in order to become Eagle Scouts, the highest rank in the program. The new badge will reportedly function as an extension of existing programs that already require scouts to “engage with other groups and cultures.”

Like many American institutions, the Boy Scouts has a shaky history when it comes to not being racist. According to CNN, the scouting organization didn’t fully integrate until the 1970s, and other forms of discrimination remained active until the 2010s. Until 2014, the organization banned LGBTQ children and teens from joining, and it didn’t lift its ban on LGBTQ troop leaders and employees until the following year.

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