Why Reel Grrls is proud to be #ForEveryGirl
Last week, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington rocked the national news circuit and earned a badge in non-profit integrity. A donation of $100,000 was promised to the organization with some compromising strings attached: the funds could not be used towards transgender girls. The Girl Scouts’ response? They walked away from the funding, showing the world that keeping their mission inclusive to all girls was their highest priority. We at Reel Grrls are so proud of the leadership demonstrated by GSWW. The Girl Scouts not only stood up for their values, but they put their inclusivity ahead of their bottom line. They sent a message to girls everywhere that the their organization is committed to providing a safe space for them to grow. They showed their supporters that their mission to “empower every girl” guides their decision making beyond the programs they provide. They used their voice to raise awareness that transgender youth deserve and need access to the same opportunities as their cisgender peers. This simple act showed us unwavering principles and truly strong leadership. We could not be more proud to call them our neighbors and friends.
As part of the follow up hashtag campaign, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington reached out to us and asked us why Reel Grrls stands #ForEveryGirl. This is our response.
Reel Grrls is a feminist youth media organization that provides a safe space for girls to think critically about the media they consume and use their individual point of view to make their own media. Through this model, the participants in our programs grow critical thinking, creativity, leadership skills, and, above all, confidence. We think it’s critical that the safe space we provide is #ForEveryGirl because there is no one way to be a girl. We have a responsibility to our mission to do what we can to eliminate barriers to our technology and arts mentorship program. Gender identity should never be a barrier to that opportunity, nor should disability, geography, or socioeconomic status. This is what drives us, and has inspired programs like our disability justice camp, our rural programs across Washington state, and our pay-what-you-can policy that ensures no participant is ever turned away due to lack of funds. We believe that cultivating and celebrating the voices of those who are not often heard is an integral part of social justice, and we are committed to playing a unique role.
What Girl Scouts of Western Washington showed the world last week was remarkable. Walking away from major donations is never an easy choice to make as a small non-profit, but it’s so important. We know this first-hand. It’s important to the girls we all serve and the community we are a part of. It’s important because we need more organizations to demonstrate their values transparently. If we don’t stand for what we believe in, how can we stay true to our missions?
So, we thank you, Girl Scouts of Western Washington. Thank you for showing everyone what true grrl power is made of.
– The entire Reel Grrls staff and board