Over the last few years, our country has experienced a rise in youth mental health crises and a renewed national conversation inside and outside the Boy Scouts of America about the need to focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism. This spring, the Admonition Team was created to help the OA build a strategy to more fully fulfill its mission and purpose by addressing these important issues. Over the last few months, the team has created social media campaigns to uplift voices of diverse communities in our organization and to educate members about mental health issues and resources. These campaigns include:
- A celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Awareness month in May, featuring written and video stories of AAPI youth and adults who described the power of representation.
- The launch of the #OABeBrave campaign in acknowledgment of Mental Health Awareness Month in May. This included a graphic, which showcased resources and statistics concerning mental health, in addition to a video interview with a Scouting family focused on suicide prevention.
- The commemoration of Pride Month with a social media message celebrating the contributions of LGBTQ+ OA members.
The responses from these initial campaigns were overwhelmingly positive and validated the importance of the efforts happening in the OA - and throughout the BSA - to build a more diverse and inclusive organization.
This work is just the beginning. In the months ahead, the Admonition Team will publish additional resources for leaders to use at the local level to foster safe and inclusive Scouting environments. This group is committed to ensuring that the OA is a place where every member can fully enjoy the friendship and fellowship that has been a hallmark of the membership experience for over 100 years. If you have questions and/or ideas that you’d like to share related to this work, please email @email.