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Citizenship in Society "Soft Release"; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Repackaged?


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Just back from Summer Camp.  Had a great discussion with a Scouter well-plugged into his council.  He was asked by the SE to participate in a "soft release" of Citizenship in Society Merit Badge.  SE gave no information other than that... 

Anyone out there have more intel??

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I person like the 1952 to 1965 stent where you found your own path outside the first 10.  In addition you can make sure there is a diverse skill set earned and only some merit badges qualify in those

They combined all of the Cit MB's and the DEI MB into one. Apparently this is the first of many changes in the entire MB program.           had you going there for a bit.

No, if they followed precedent they would have split cit world into world and universe.

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3 minutes ago, MattR said:

They combined all of the Cit MB's and the DEI MB into one. Apparently this is the first of many changes in the entire MB program.

had you going there for a bit. Admit it.

You did because it would have made some historical sense if you consider that

Civics (1911-1946) became Citizenship (1947-1951) which splintered into  Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation and Citizenship in the World and Citizenship in the Home and World Brotherhood in 1951.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discontinued_merit_badges_(Boy_Scouts_of_America)

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27 minutes ago, SSScout said:

Oh the humanity?  

I just drove by that place the other day. My dad saw it fly overhead on it's way to Lakehurst right before it exploded. 

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MB program screams for change.  Personally, I would love seeing the Citz MBs merged into Civics.  Now the big challenge is keeping the politics out of the changes.  Anything hinting at picking a side or leaning one direction or another will blow up.  100% guarantee it.

Edited by fred8033
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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, yknot said:

I just drove by that place the other day. My dad saw it fly overhead on it's way to Lakehurst right before it exploded. 

@yknot we must live in the same neck of the woods...you anywhere near Lakehurst, NJ?

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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On 7/31/2021 at 12:09 AM, fred8033 said:

MB program screams for change.  Personally, I would love seeing the Citz MBs merged into Civics.  Now the big challenge is keeping the politics out of the changes.  Anything hinting at picking a side or leaning one direction or another will blow up.  100% guarantee it.

While I have not seen anything specific about a Citizenship in Society MB, or the original proposed requirements for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, I know there has been a great deal of discussion concerning the topic.  Much of the discussion has been visceral rather than logical, and dependent on emotion rather than fact.

I just completed the newly released Diversity, Equity and Inclusion adult training on my.scouting.org, and fail to see anything that I would consider controversial or contrary to the way any Scout or Scouter should already be conducting themselves.  I would strongly urge anyone here who is currently active at any level to go into their my.scouting.org account and take this short course.  (I love the fact that they set this up so that those of us who read much faster than the narration can do so without having to listen to said narration - only had a couple of short video segments that had to be watched, and was able to move through the rest of the session fairly quickly)

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The problem is that "equity" is a loaded term.  It is focused on equal outcomes, not equal resources.  Therefore, someone is likely to get more than their equal share of whatever resource, which potentially means a reduction in the potential outcome of the person better able to utilize those resources.  The current government policy on masks is a perfect example.  Some people chose to get vaccinated while others didn't.  The outcome is that everyone still has to wear a mask in certain settings.  

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25 minutes ago, Armymutt said:

The problem is that "equity" is a loaded term.  It is focused on equal outcomes, not equal resources.  Therefore, someone is likely to get more than their equal share of whatever resource, which potentially means a reduction in the potential outcome of the person better able to utilize those resources.  The current government policy on masks is a perfect example.  Some people chose to get vaccinated while others didn't.  The outcome is that everyone still has to wear a mask in certain settings.  

Are you currently active and able to look at the new training course on my.scouting?  If so, I would hope that doing so would mitigate any concerns you or others may have about the BSA approach to this subject.  One of the examples used when discussing equity is that of how we can provide additional resources and support to a Scout who may be confined to a wheelchair, in order to allow them some of the same opportunites as their fellow Scouts.  While that Scout may will not be able to do everything that his/her fellow Scouts can do, we should, whenever possible, give them the chance to do what is possible for them to do, and to have the same sense of accomplishment and belonging as every other Scout.

As to the masking example, the only thing masks and vaccines have to do with equity is in making an extra effort to provide access to vaccines to anyone who wants them.  Providing equitable access to a vaccine has nothing to do with choosing to take or not take said vaccine.

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On 8/3/2021 at 11:10 AM, MikeS72 said:

I just completed the newly released Diversity, Equity and Inclusion adult training on my.scouting.org, and fail to see anything that I would consider controversial or contrary to the way any Scout or Scouter should already be conducting themselves.  I would strongly urge anyone here who is currently active at any level to go into their my.scouting.org account and take this short course.  

Training was generally fine.  

  • A few problems ... 
    • #1  "Everyone's opinions are valid".  ... No.  I value the person and make the effort to hear what they say.  "Actively listen" without pre-judging.  I'll bend over backwards to find truth and value in their statements.  But we are still in a pandemic where people are upset because they claim their facts and asssert the other side was not using facts.  ... My point is everyone's opinions are not valid.   Everyone is to be valued and heard, but that does not mean all opinions are valid.
    • #2  Weren't we already doing this stuff?  Did I miss something?  I'm confused.
    • #3  Course is trying to address a hot button, current affairs issue, but the course removed the meat to make it acceptable to everyone.
      • Simple fact is I'm still extremely upset from last summer with people calling police bastards.  ... Just one example ... Bridges have been burnt.  
      • I can't see teaching / discussing DE&I without discussing 2020 and that means discussing what I believe happened.  
      • I can't see being a resource to talk about DE&I because of racial issues.  As a middle aged white male I am a target that people will jump on and quickly label without knowing who I am or actively listening to me.  
      • So, if this is just about how to be a better more authentic leader, fine.  If this is about teaching DE&I, then ... ummm ... we have a problem still. 
    • #4  Upstander seems like a pet-rock term.  Meh.  I thought we already had terms for that but perhaps the terms became too unpopular.  
    • #5  Feels like training just grabbed some good leadership stuff and has called it DE&I.

Below are my notes from the training ...

First sentence on the header for the training.   "Diversity, equity, and inclusion work only if everyone is invited to participate and feels accepted for their uniqueness." ...   Seems like a fairly innocous statement.  So, everyone is invited to participate.  ... Atheists and agnostics?  ... begins to raise hair ... drug users?  Those that drop the F bomb every fourth word?  Those that learn how to socialize from South Park and Celebrity Death Match?   ... Those that burn the flag? ...  SWorse yet, those that pay $5+ for something that pretends to be coffee?  ... I can quickly devolve this point, but "ONLY IF EVERYONE IS INVITED" and "ACCEPTED FOR THEIR UNIQUENESS" is a loaded statement.  ... People do say scouting teaches values.  ... Perhaps, we should just say scouting teaches canoeing and camping be done with it.  :)

 

  • Introduction ... Mosby ... Nice statement.  I can accept that.  Scouting has a problem recruiting from a wide pool of youth.  Problems with groups by income or nationality or ethnic background.
  • Introduction ... Chief Diversity Officer ...  The role has always scared me a bit, but fine.  Nice statement.
  • Introduction ... Comittee on diversity.  ... Nice introduction.  I'm getting a bit scared about that will be pushed (definition of terms, etc), but okay.  I'll do the training.
  • Foundations ... Objectives ... upstander?  ... Meh ...
  • Foundations ... Defining identities ... okay
  • Foundations ... Defining diversity ... okay ... BUT ... Units are comprised of many identities ... Yeah, I don't see that happening until the community containing the scout unit is diverse.  Units reflect the community.  ... In addition, scouting has a branding problem with different communities.  Until it's successfully marketed, it's hard to recruit evenly.   Until scouting is affordable, it's hard to be diverse.  In may ways, scouting is now a rich suburb family activity.
  • Foundations ... Defining diversity ... "everyone feels welcome in your unit" ... SO, units can't select their membership based on the charter org values?  Is the DE&I superceding CO ownership of the unit?  So, CO's can't represent what they value by selecting the leaders that represent the CO values?  I can see bending over to accept people of all race, ethnic, income, disability, etc.  BUT, I'd have a hard time accepting a leader that contradicts the values / wishes of the CO.
  • Foundations ... diversity wheel.   ... meh ...
  • Foundations ... Defining equity ... examples ... We have that ingrained now.  We bend over backwards to include.  Examples of wheel chairs and money.  Been there / done that.
  • Foundations ... Defining inclusion ... "concerted efforts to bring" ... Okay.  I can accept that within boundaries of not offending the CO.  ... So, how much effort?  ... I relate to helping children with special needs.  We bend over backwards to help, but volunteer units can't provide the same level of support that a school with paid professionals can marshal day in and day out.  We have done "concerted efforts" repeatedly, but we have limits of volunteer energy.
  • Foundations ... "Authenticity" .... You hit my weak spot.  I love that term as a tool to teach leadership.
  • Foundations ... "Authenticity" ... Questions ... RED FLAG !!!! ... The questions raise red flags.  The questions are meaningful and correct, but then need the skilled leadership using authenticity to create an effective program.  ... This is a volunteer program ya know.  
    • Example:  Page asks "are all leaders appropriately involved in decision making?"  I'm not sure what that means.  I've seen it happen in units where so many different voices were speaking that committee meetings took four hours and everyone was mad and it tore the unit appart.  Scouters are passionate and often conflict.  Sometimes the SM or CC needs to help chart a consistent path.  Sometimes that strong lead can help create a good program.  
  • Foundations ... Dance party example is useful.
  • Scouting values embrace ... Check your understanding ... Pretty basic.  Not really special to DE&I
  • Embracing Diversity in Scouting ... Active listening is part of DE&I?  
  • Embracing Diversity in Scouting ... "Treating others in the way they would like to be treated" ... Ya know, there was this guy in Hollywood that ran a restaurant in the 1930s who thought he was a Russian prince.  ... Personally, I'd like to have my kids salute me each day and stand up when I enter the room.  ... The quote begins to lose me.  ... but within reason, it's an okay statement. 
  • Embracing Diversity in Scouting ... Love the Gandhi quote.  Gandhi has been one of my heros for 40+ years.  BUT, he's not perfect either.  ... time for another discussion.   ... Not sure Gandhi meant the same thing with diversity, but I can accept the use of the quote.
  • Understanding equity ... Fine.  not sure what the argument is. 
  • Creating a culture of Inclusion ... Fine
  • Building the BSA of tomorrow ... What the ####?  ... Well produced video.  Very good message.  But from a different course?  ... A bit obvious message, but good.  The issue I have is we just had all the earlier sections talk about what I'd call is basic good leadership and being a good person and authenticity as leadership.  Now, the video is about blatant color of skin bigotry with explict presentations of effectively white supremist bigotry.  It's a baiting video.  It's like the video is from a different course.  ...  Worse ... though the mesage of the video is fine ... it's like the video is the direct output of the summer of 2020.  The course earlier had examples of people in wheelchairs ... people who could not afford scouting ... language ... beliefs ... culture ... etc.   The video is only about the color of skin.   Earlier in the course, the examples were examples that any long-term experienced scouter has seen.   Now, the video seems to be presenting a case that we all hope to never see.
    • I'm saying ... either all the meat has been removed from earlier in the course or the video seems to be addressing a different course.
    • Ummm ... what about the unconscious bias so prevelent in today's popular bigotry.  That being that middle aged white men are poor examples and it's okay to silence and shame them.  
  • Building the BSA of tomorrow ... Upstander ... Feels like a pretend word, but the guts of it I can see directly in the type of actions I'd expect from my child hood heros of John Wayne, Jimmy Steward and Chuck Norris.  
  • Building th BSA of tomorrow ... quote Elie Wiesel " silence of the bystander" ... Great quote.  I won't use the term upstander.  The term sucks.  But, it's about being a person of backbone for standing up for what is right and speaking out about what is wrong.  ... Ya know, I really thought that was what we were supposed to be teaching from the beginning.  I'm slightly confused as this training seems to be pointing out basics that perhaps BSA did not include earlier.  ... In a way ... I cringe at this being called DE&I as it's fundamental leadership.  DE&I introduces too much current day political crap and controversy.  
  • "being curious and asking authentic" ... Just listened to NPR in last few days where the speaker was saying it's impolite to ask questions about nationality, origin, etc.  Another friend shared a cartoon of a spoons and forks and the message was implying it's wrong to ask basic questions about orientation. ...  ... I'm not sure those educated really agree on what can be discussed and what can't be discussed.

 

 

Edited by fred8033
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