Charles Johnson – District Chair
Anthony Puleo – District Commissioner
Greg Clancy – Council President
We are Lorraine Ellis Jordan and Greg Clancy, proud Bronx residents and the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in the Bronx. We are writing this letter in solidarity with the family of George Floyd and with our neighbors who have suffered from anxiety and a lack of peace, whether from recent events or from a history of injustices within our community.
The two of us come from different backgrounds. We are a black woman and a white man who through our shared experience of Scouting have come to love each other as close friends who share in a common cause. Over time we have discovered that our worldviews and hopes for the future are quite the same. This may seem astonishing given that Lorraine has had the experience of a black woman who started her life in a politically active family in the days of segregation. Greg has had the experience of a white man who was raised in a conservative Catholic Family. We grew up with a different perspective on country, the police, opportunity, justice… the list could go on. So, how could we come to share such similar thoughts on the best future for our community? For starters, we do not compel one another to conform to the others truth. Neither of us require the other to think and say the “right” thing. Neither of us labels the other for failing to meet an expected standard.
Scouting is not a white or black or brown organization. It is a youth movement designed to bring young boys and girls up in the world. The path from Lion Scout to Eagle Scout is designed to build a sense of self worth. We teach courtesy, kindness, citizenship and leadership. We teach service as an ideal and we give kids the opportunity for camaraderie. Most important in the context of today’s news is that Scouting opens doors! As a black mother, Lorraine prays that doors that were not open for her will be open for children. As a father and a white man of conscience, Greg’s personal call to action has been to open those doors for all kids through the shared experience of Scouting. The Boy Scouts of America is over 100 years old and we have had a history of both triumphs and of challenges. Today’s world demands a higher standard and we accept that high standard and the accountability that comes with it.
Our mission is to strengthen the BSA in the Bronx because we want to enfranchise all of our kids in Scouting and in the world ahead. We want to use our historical youth movement which we love, to empower your children and to open doors previously undreamed of.
We pray for peace, justice and human dignity. We will not attain our goals perfectly, because we are human. But our pledge to the parents and friends of Scouting is that we will do our best to fulfill the promise of service and a brighter future for ALL of our children.
Yours in Scouting,
Lorraine Ellis Jordan & Gregory Clancy