DALLAS (September 1, 2015) — In an effort to provide more youth with the life-changing experiences Scouting offers, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has appointed a chief diversity officer. Ponce Duran serves as the southern region director for the BSA and began serving in this additional role on March 10, 2015. The position aims to extend the BSA’s engagement in multicultural communities nationwide, sharing Scouting’s benefits and opportunities with parents and their children.
“Ponce leading our diversity efforts is key for the BSA,” Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said. “We believe every child should have the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from Scouting’s adventures. Ponce will help strengthen Scouting’s connection to diverse cultures and communities and further our commitment to giving kids fun experiences and instilling values and character that last a lifetime.”
The BSA has long served youth from different ethnicities, faiths, and backgrounds, and the organization believes diversity is a responsibility, not an initiative. Duran has been at the helm of this mission, creating diversity goals for the Southern Region and developing programs such as Jalando Parejo (or Pulling Together), an initiative to establish Scouting units in communities across the country. Jalando Parejo works to bring Scouting to children from all parts of the country and from all kinds of backgrounds.
Duran’s achievements extend to the BSA’s internal recruitment efforts. Under Duran’s leadership, the Southern Region has recruited more than 500 diverse district committee and council board members and has the highest number of diverse Scout executives. As the director of professional recruiting at the BSA national office, he developed national internship programs, recruiting diverse young professionals from more than 80 universities across the country.
“All youth deserve fun, well-rounded programs that prepare them to be resourceful, problem-solving adults. I know that’s what Scouting offers,” Duran said. “I am honored to take a leadership role in our continued efforts to reach families and children in underserved communities.”
A native of south Texas, Duran is a lifelong Boy Scout. He achieved his Eagle Scout rank in 1970, is a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow, and has worked for the BSA in many roles for 30 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of Texas-Pan American and holds a master’s degree in adult education from Texas A&M at Kingsville. Duran returned to the University of Texas-Pan American for four years as the director of the American Humanics program while continuing his work with the BSA.
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About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.4 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.