February 20, 2023: On Wednesdays We Wear Pink! #Lifteachotherup🚀 and raise awareness about anti-bullying by taking kindness to new heights.

Pink Day Shirt = Anti-Bullying Day! This Pink Shirt Day, and every day, take your kindness to new heights by lifting each other up! When we lift each other, we see past the things that separate us and see instead, the things that unite us. As people continue to embrace their cultures, identities, and full selves in more open and direct ways, it is key to #Lifteachotherup🚀 and promote greater acceptance, respect, and inclusion for everyone. This week in the mentoring circle, we learn about how we can help stop bullying in communities across the province using digital resources from the Pink Shirt Day website to become Upstanders and join Pink Shirt Day on February 22nd, 2023, by wearing pink!

The 2023 Pink Shirt Day design was inspired by moments of kindness, empathy and understanding that can mean so much to children impacted by bullying. For bullied kids, it can be hard to know where to turn. But a helping and supportive hand can make a world of difference! Remember that whether it’s sending a check-in text, calling out bullying behaviour when you see it, or simply offering your support, there are so many ways we can all help and connect with people being bullied. Let’s Lift Each Other Up this Pink Shirt Day, and all year round! Do you know the story about how Pink Shirt Day came to be? It goes back to two creative kids in Nova Scotia who took a little idea a long, long way.

This year’s Pink Shirt Day theme is “Lift each other up”; a simple but powerful message encouraging us to look beyond our differences and celebrate the things that make us unique. This movement started in 2007 when on his first day of Grade 12, Travis Price learned that a Grade 9 student had been bullied for wearing a pink shirt. To take a unified stand against bullying, he and his friend David Shepherd convinced hundreds of his fellow students to be Upstanders, rather than bystanders, and wear pink clothes to school the next day. Price and Shepherd started an annual campaign now known as Pink Shirt Day and sparked an international anti-bullying movement. As Price himself experienced bullying when he was younger, he felt motivated to make a difference for this student by turning an idea into action — listen to him below!

Let’s all be upstanders! An upstander is a person who recognizes injustice, knows their personal strengths and uses those strengths to create change. Someone who recognizes when something is wrong and acts to make it right. When an upstander sees or hears about someone being bullied, they speak up. Being an upstander is lifting each other up – we are standing up for what is right and doing our best to help support and protect someone who is being hurt. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has wonderful digital resources to better understand What’s an Upstander? During Pink Shirt Day reflect on how you have used your strengths to lift someone else up. Take this day as a new opportunity to become an upstander that takes a stand for human rights in their community.

Pink Shirt Day is now celebrated every February across Canada to raise awareness about the negative impacts of bullying and to promote anti-bullying initiatives in schools. Although the movement has continued to expand, the end goal is to make every day a pink day. This means that students, and all of us, should always reject bullying tactics and try to make a difference if we see someone being targeted. The story of Travis Price shows that one small act has the potential to inspire others to stand up for inclusion resulting in a big change. Remember, kindness and compassion can go a long way. The Pink Shirt Day website also offers great digital resources to better understand bullying.

Dark Cloud: The High Cost of Cyberbullying explores the devastating impacts of cyberbullying on the lives of young people. It includes a resource guide that will help educators and youth to understand the impacts of cyberbullying and some of the ways we can respond. Dark Cloud examines this growing epidemic which is seriously affecting young people’s mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. We learn about the toll of cyberbullying and digital antagonism through the eyes of Carol Todd. In 2012, Carol’s daughter Amanda Todd tragically took her life in a story that went viral worldwide. Now Carol crusades against cyberbullying as she connects with a network of activists and calls on some of the country’s leading experts on cyberbullying for insights about its causes and strategies for its prevention.

Kind words and small actions have meaningful impacts on our communities, so remember to  #Lifteachotherup🚀 . This Pink Shirt Day, by wearing pink we are encouraged to think about how we can say ‘no’ to bullying behaviours and say ‘yes’ to supporting and uplifting one another. In the video below, Reg Krake from ARC Foundation sits down with News Talk 980 CKNW’s Simi Sara to share how SOGI 123, a program supported by Pink Shirt Day, helps 2SLGBTQIA+ kids. Together, they discuss why teaching young people using SOGI-inclusive curriculum (SOGI = Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) is important and how teachers and mentors can create or lead an inclusive environment for youth. Small acts can result in big change! Follow @pinkshirtday on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook