Posted on January 16, 2023

Canada’s Girl Scouts Will Drop the Name ‘Brownie’ – For Its Youngest Members – Because the Term Is ‘Racist’

Ruth Bashinsky, Daily Mail, January 12, 2023

The Canadian Girl Scouts have dropped the name Brownie in favor of Embers after the term was deemed ‘racist’ and ‘offended’ some of its members.

The name change was announced by Girl Guides of Canada on Wednesday to create a more inclusive space for the seven and eight-year-old girls branch, according to a news release by Girl Guides.

‘With this new name we’re showing girls that what they say matters, and that Girl Guides is a place for everyone to belong,’ according to a tweet Girl Guides posted.

Girl Guides of Canada said they decided to change the name of their branch in November after current and former members claimed the previous name caused harm and was a barrier to belonging for racialized girls and women.

A nationwide search was conducted that involved girl, youth and adult members to find the right name.

‘This wasn’t just about a name or its origin. This was about the fact that girls experienced racism and felt that they weren’t welcome in Girl Guides,’ Jill Zelmanovits, CEO, Girl Guides of Canada said.

Zelmanovitz said that she heard from many current and former members and even members of the public who understood why we had to make this change.

She said over the last couple of months, families have signed up with Girl Guides for the first time because changing this name means Girl Guides is more inclusive for their daughters.

‘It was resoundingly clear that this was the preferred choice,’ Jill Zelmanovits, CEO, Girl Guides of Canada said.

‘We can’t wait to keep bringing the magic of Girl Guides to girls ages 7 and 8, now with the name Embers.’

GGC will begin phasing in the Embers name throughout various websites, marketing materials and resources over the coming months.

They have a September 1, 2023 target date to have the name fully adopted.

Embers (ages 7-8) joins other branches of Sparks (ages 5-6), Guides (ages 9-11), Pathfinders (ages 12-14) and Rangers (ages 15-17) at GGC, the branch said.

‘With the new Embers name, we hope even more girls will see Guiding as a place where they can just be themselves, grow their confidence and explore their talents and interests,’ says Zelmanovits. ‘

By taking action and changing the name to Embers, Girl Guides is living our promise to ‘take action for a better world’ and we are showing girls that what they say matters. This is something I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of.’