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United Way of the Bluegrass and Boy Scouts of America, Blue Grass Council
United Way of the Bluegrass supporter,
You may have seen or read about United Way and the local Boy Scouts Council today. I wanted to share with you the full story.
United Way of the Bluegrass believes that every person and child in our community should have access to the resources necessary for them to be able to dream big and achieve their potential. So, when some of our investors asked us to review our non-discrimination policy, we learned some things about “opportunity” and “equity” and how our policies may have been preventing access to the dream.
As a result, United Way’s board unanimously voted to adopt a non-discrimination policy that is similar to most corporate and organizational policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity as groups that are guaranteed access to services, opportunities to volunteer and employment. This policy is applicable to the agencies that receive funding from United Way here in Central Kentucky. (Click here to read the nondiscrimination policy.)
According to Dr. Christia Spears Brown, Director of the Children at Risk Research Cluster at the University of Kentucky, “Face-to-face discrimination is obviously negative, but so is the worry about future discrimination. We know that youth worry about future discrimination. Even by adolescence, gay youth are anticipating future discrimination, and this even shapes their career choices. Adolescents are looking at the adults in their "group" to see what they can expect in their own adulthood. If the adolescent belongs to a group that will experience discrimination as an adult, the negative impacts of that future discrimination start in adolescence. This means that policies that discriminate against gay adults work the same way as discriminating against gay youth.” (To hear from Dr. Brown on discrimination, click here to view a short video.)
While the research regarding youth is most compelling, all people – youth and adults – deserve to be treated with respect and United Way believes that they have a right to the same opportunities and services that will help them reach for their dreams. Discrimination is harmful at all levels. Policies that create obstacles to success in the areas of education, financial stability, and health are not creating solutions that are in the best interest of the community. United Way’s Board of Directors has recognized this dissonance and the immediacy of the need to make change in light of the clear evidence that harm is perpetrated by doing nothing.
Unfortunately, the policy of Boy Scouts of America specifically denies the participation of some adults in troop leadership roles based on their sexual orientation. Given this, United Way of the Bluegrass has suspended funding to the Blue Grass Council.
We value the work of the Boy Scouts and hope that in the future the policies of the Boy Scouts of America will be inclusive of all participants and that United Way of the Bluegrass and Boy Scouts of America, Blue Grass Council can renew their long-term and impactful partnership.
It is important to address challenging issues head on and make decisions that will in fact make life better for all Central Kentuckians. In addition, we felt that it was important to continue to spread the message about the harmful effects discrimination has on our young children as well as adults. In this fast paced world, if we can help one child from finding themselves in isolation, unable to relate and connect themselves with other supportive and nurturing relationships, we may have prevented something that might result in disastrous consequences. In order for us to address the challenges we face as a region, we need to Live United!
12:25 pm Thursday, March 28, 2013
7:00 am Wednesday, January 02, 2013
12:42 pm Friday, December 21, 2012
1:59 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012
10:15 am Friday, December 07, 2012