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Breaking stereotypes with one of Minnesota's only BIPOC Girl Scout troops

BIPOC Mentored Troop 18793 is one of the few Girl Scout troops in the state run by women of color working to inspire young girls of color.

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — Girl Scout troops are very common, but not many are like BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Mentored Troop 18793.

It's one of the few Girl Scout troops in the state run by women of color working to inspire young girls of color.

Paulette Bonneur is one of the troop leaders. She says it's important that young girls of color are surrounded by people they can relate to.

"Traditionally, we've seen nongroups of color in Girl Scouting," said Bonneur.

It's important that stereotypes are broken.

"We get people that walk up to us and say, 'oh my gosh, I've never seen a Black troop leader. Or, oh my goodness, I didn't know I could do this,'" said Bonneur.

Breaking stereotypes doesn't mean forgetting tradition, though.

"Of course, we are inclusive and we do your normal Girl Scouts things, but we put a little flare into it," said Bonneur. 

The group of 13 girls is able to explore their curiosity, dream big and learn about the world around them. 

"We talk about culture, so what makes us unique? We talk about Black history month, and we talk about women of color that inspire us," said Bonneur.

Parents say the added culture doesn't take away from important life lessons.

"My daughter is biracial, and I wanted her to have an example of women of color that are leading our community and doing great things," said Denise Jones.

"This is a great opportunity for every young BIPOC kid out there, so they can have a voice," said Chinwendu Terrell.

A voice that matters just as much as the next.

"There are too many girls that feel like they're not enough or they're too much, and I know how it feels, so I don't want that for them," said Bonneur. 

So we strive to be better by breaking up the norm.

"If you have an opportunity to make a change, why wouldn't you do it," said Bonneur.

You can find more information about mentored troops here.


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