TAMPA, Fla. — Boy Scouts of America is now implementing a new "diversity and inclusion merit badge" in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. This will now be required for scouts to become an Eagle Scout.
The organization is also implementing a diversity and inclusion training that is required for all volunteers and starting July 1.
“As I saw, it is a step forward and a step in the right direction to be able to send a signal that we welcome all young people. Those that come into scouting and have a desire to be a part of our program are welcome,” Director of Field Service of the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Boy Scouts Dwayne Jones.
The organization said the new diversity and inclusion badge will build components with existing merit badges that include the merit badge of American culture and citizenship in the community.
“It will require scouts to learn about and engage other groups in their culture hoping to increase the understanding to spur on positive interactions with different cultures,” Jones said.
Jones said that The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council has always sought to be one of the leading councils in the nation when it comes to diversity, inclusion and inviting young people to be a part of their program.
They have commissioned a diversity and inclusion committee that will be spearheaded by one of the board members. They will ensure that all of the programs will have an element of welcome of all scouts of all ethnic backgrounds.
“So we've been working for quite some time now to make sure that our council is one of inclusion and that we seek to serve all,” Jones said.
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