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Dr. Gloria D. Scott served as the first African-American National President of Girl Scouts from 1975–1978.
Celebrating 95 Years of Black History at Girl Scouts of the USA
Throughout February, Girl Scouts joins the rest of the nation in celebrating Black History Month. This is an opportunity to recognize perseverance and determination in the face of extreme adversity and oppression. In as much as it is a national celebration, Black History Month is also an opportunity to reflect on our own Girl Scout history, which celebrates 95 years this year.
Our first troop for African American girls was formed in 1917, and by the 1950s, GSUSA began a national effort to desegregate all Girl Scout troops. In 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. described the Girl Scouts as "a force for desegregation."
In keeping with our goal of creating the leaders of tomorrow, in this 96th anniversary year we would like to honor the noble leadership of African-American women within the Girl Scout Movement. From our first African-American troop to the first African-American GSUSA President, Dr. Gloria D. Scott, the month of February is a time for us to honor these amazing women and their continued contribution to our mission of creating girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.
This photo, taken in the late 1930s, is of the first African-American troop in the Dixie Region, which covered the Southern states.
In an unusual photo from this era, African-American girls and white girls from the Philadelphia Girl Scout Council are shown together at Camp Indian Run in 1941.