On Monday, January 21, our nation will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Since its establishment as a national holiday, Girl Scouts across America have honored Dr. King's legacy by taking part in community service projects that range from serving food at homeless shelters to preparing care packages for our troops overseas.
The countless hours Girl Scouts have given over the years are a wonderful and fitting tribute to a man who changed the course of history, calling on each of us to do our part to make the world a better place. Dr. King believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and challenged us to live up to the purpose and potential of America by applying the principles of nonviolence and service to others in our daily lives. Our girls live that ideal each and every day, by working locally to build a better world from the ground up. Thousands upon thousands of Girl Scouts will use their day off from school to serve others in communities, from Philadelphia to San Francisco and Minneapolis to Atlanta.
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Birmingham, Alabama, where Dr. King penned his historic “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and where young children, girls and boys alike, stood on the front lines of the civil rights movement to defend the right of equal treatment regardless of race or gender. It was an incredibly powerful moment; I got to walk in the footsteps of history and reflect on the sacrifices made by everyday people across this nation to bring about a more equal society.
We as Girl Scouts have special reason to rejoice on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: in 1956, amid the struggle for civil rights, Dr. King described GSUSA as a “force for desegregation.” We cherish our history of inclusion, and today diversity remains a bedrock principle of our Girl Scout Movement.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday and hope you will honor Dr. King's memory by serving others and by continuing the pivotal work that we are privileged to engage in: building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
Anna Maria Chávez
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of the USA