He was called to task last night and in our press release for changing the mission of the organization. So he emailed everyone, at almost midnight the following:
Our new mission statement is:
"The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington is to help boys and girls of all backgrounds, especially those who need us most, build confidence, develop character and acquire the skills needed to become productive, civic-minded, responsible adults." [emphasis added]
Last year as part of its 100th anniversary BGCA changed its mission from "To inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as responsible and caring citizens" to "To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens." We continue to believe that all children are at-risk--no matter their circumstances--for negative outcomes. Given our limited resources, the term "those who need us most" reflects our need to continue to focus on those youth who are MOST in jeopardy of drug abuse, gangs, early parenthood, high school drop out, etc. because they live in neighborhoods where these outcomes are prevalent. It does so without the potentially stigmatizing language "from disadvantaged circumstances" or "at-risk youth."
We checked the BGCGW web site and sure enough, tonight they updated the mission to reflect "those who need us most." Colonel Gunn surely did not like being told to check the mission of the organization. Perhaps he might have communicated that this change that was made and then we all could have avoided at least that unpleasantness.
In any event, we are pleased about the change. Especially those who need us most is not defined by poverty line data. It is not defined by geographic proximity to a club. Yet those were two of the main factors in the "careful" Program Delivery Task Force study, otherwise known as the "Sham Study."
How about the following as new slogans?
Especially those who need us most. Except kids in gentrified neighborhoods.
Especially those who need us most, unless your family earns too much.
Especially those who need us most, except for the over 6,000 members of Jelleff and Eastern!
Don't be shy, suggest your own!