Diversity has been a core value of Girl Scouts since its founding in 1912. In 2020, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (GSWCF) launched the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice (DEI-RJ) Team to lead our council to new areas of introspection and ultimately achievement in the advancement of anti-racism and justice. Among our DEI-RJ Team’s many goals in 2021 is to bring more awareness and educational opportunities to Black History Month.
The History behind Black History Month
The purpose of Black History Month is to learn more about the history and culture of African American people, and pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who faced adversity in achieving full citizenship in American society.
In 1925, Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) and Negro History Week in order to raise awareness of African Americans’ contributions to civilization. Negro History Week was first celebrated in February 1926 in order to incorporate the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Negro History Week’s success was overwhelming and continued to grow in the coming years. In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford expanded the celebration to a month. (Source)
Earn GSWCF’s New Black History Patch
We will be offering two program opportunities* that put you on the path to earning our new Black History patch. You can also check out our patch program guidelines to earn it on your own!
International Dance – Feb. 27
Explore styles of dance from all over the globe! Led by an instructor from Mile High Fitness, this program is a great way to find your rhythm and get healthy.
10 am – 11 am for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors
11:30 am – 12:30 pm for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors
Make sure you keep an eye on our Events page to sign up for this program. Cost is $20 per girl.
Book Club – Tuesdays & Thursdays
Join us on Facebook Live every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of February for a story reading and Q&A session. Tuesday readings will be geared toward Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors. Thursday readings will be geared toward Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. Follow our Facebook page for more updates as we develop this program!
*Please note that programs have capacity limits.
Curriculum & patch design adapted from Girl Scouts of Central Texas and other councils programming
Other patch opportunities:
You can continue your diversity education by also earning our new Multicultural Patch!
Our sisters at Girl Scouts of San Jacinto are offering these programs to celebrate Black History:
- Black History IS American History for Younger Girls (DBJ)
- Black History IS American History for Older Girls (CSA)
Girl Scouts Black History
In 1913, Black girls in Bedford, Massachusetts, joined the third Girl Scout troop ever formed. The first all-Black Girl Scout troops were established as early as 1917.
In 1924, three full decades before U.S. public schools were
desegregated, Josephine Holloway became the first Black Girl Scout
troop leader by forming an unofficial troop using a Girl Scout
handbook. In 1942, Troop 200 became the first official Black Girl
Scout Troop in Nashville. Josephine opened the door for young Black
girls to see their own Black Girl Magic as part of Girl Scouts.
In 1951, more than 97 Black Girl Scouts from 14 regions gathered at the 1951 International Girl Scout Encampment in Home Valley, Washington, to discuss ways to help diverse groups understand one another and find ways to work together. There’s no telling what can happen when Black Girl Magic has an objective in mind and a trusted community behind it.
Then in 1975, Dr. Gloria Dean Randle Scott, the first African American instructor at a predominately White institution, Marion College, became the first Black national president of Girl Scouts of the USA. The Girl Scout Trefoil was redesigned during the last year of her presidency to highlight and add visibility to the diversity of the organization. (Source)
Explore Black History in Your Community
- Black History Museum and Archives
Howard Academy Community Center
306 NW 7th Ave, Ocala, FL 34475
- Black History Mural at Webb Field
Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex
1510 ME 4TH St. Ocala, Florida 34475