A Need for Courageous Conversations

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Below is Pathway to Adventure Council’s response to the events of the past few weeks.

Dear PTAC Family,

As we reflect the events over the last two weeks, we share our anger and sorrow over the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other fellow citizens who died in deeply tragic circumstances. Many of you have shared your own expressions of anguish and anger about what has happened and how it is playing out across the country. Far from isolated events, these acts of violence are the direct and predictable results of not living the values we established as a nation. We all must act to change it.

Of course, all of this is happening during, and is exacerbated by, a global health crisis that is affecting us all in very personal ways. The sense of isolation and perhaps even helplessness many of us feel as we live through this pandemic are contributing to the unrest we are seeing unfold before us in so many cities.

Learning from these events starts with us having respectful conversations with each other and within our communities. The work continues with us creating space to think about how we support our communities to move forward in a positive direction.

When completing their citizenship merit badges, we ask Scouts to identify an issue and work to understand different opinions and to embrace what it means to be a good citizen. Let us now turn these skills to supporting communities of color and opening ourselves to the uncomfortable work of dismantling racism.

Confronting and eliminating racism will require actions at every level, from leaders to Scouts. It will require educating ourselves about racism, listening to our Black community and following their leadership, and determining our roles in healing our systems and communities. To start this process, PTAC will be hosting a series of small group discussions with Scouts and leaders to speak frankly about their feelings about current events and root causes and consequences of racism, among other topics. If you or your Scout is interested in being a part of these talks and want to contribute ideas for a more equitable path forward, please sign up here: https://tinyurl.com/PTACConversations.

We are stronger together, and we look forward to working towards a safer and equitable future for all in the Pathway to Adventure Council.