KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Boy Scouts of America announced it is standing with the Black Lives Matter movement and will require all Eagle Scouts to earn a new "diversity and inclusion" merit badge.
"As our country reckons with racial injustice, we all must consider our role and our failures and commit to meaningful action," a BSA statement read. "We realize we have not been as brave as we should have been because, as Scouts, we must always stand for what is right and take action when the situation demands it. There is no place for racism — not in Scouting and now in our communities. Racism will not be tolerated."
Details of how the badge will be earned and what will be required have not been released.
The announcement, however, was welcomed news to local scout leaders.
"This is the right time to do it. They’re young. They’re able to work together. They have fewer hang-ups about things and they’re able to build those things that are going to last them a lifetime," said Randall Blair, the Scout Master for BSA Troop 10B.
Eagle Scouts are the highest rank in BSA. This badge would become one of fourteen required badges.
"It really just elevates it and shows people it is a key value in our organization and it’s not just lip service," said Sally Jercha, the Scout Master for BSA Troop 10G.
Over the years, BSA has been taking steps to become more inclusive. In 2017, the organization eliminated its ban on gay troop leaders and employees. In 2019, it opened its program to girls.