February 26, 2024: Pink Shirt Day! Build an Inclusive and Connected Community with All Kinds of Kindness to #Lifteachotherup🚀

When we lift each other, we see past the things that separate us and instead focus on the things that unite us. As people continue to embrace their cultures, identities, and true selves in more open and direct ways, it is key to #Lifteachotherup🚀 and have greater compassion, respect, and love for everyone.  This week in the mentoring circle, we join Pink Shirt Day and dress completely in pink this Wednesday, February 28, 2024. Together we commit to stop bullying across the province by becoming upstanders using resources from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. This Pink Shirt Day, and every day, remember that all kinds of kindness contribute to building an inclusive and connected community. Small acts can result in big change; kindness and compassion can go a long way!

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Pink Day Shirt = Anti-Bullying Day and this year’s theme is “All Kinds of Kindness”; a simple but powerful message encouraging us to look beyond our differences and care for each other. In 2007, 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 become an upstander and cared to make a difference by turning an idea into action.

Become an Upstander! An upstander is a person who recognizes and calls out injustice by standing up for what is right. When an upstander sees or hears about someone being bullied, they speak up. Over 75% of people say they’ve been bullied. Over 90% of bullying incidents have peer witnesses. But when those peers intervene, most incidents are over within 10 seconds. An upstander is committed to social justice and does their best to help support and protect someone who is being hurt and bullied. Take Pink Shirt Day as an opportunity to become an upstander who takes a stand for human rights in their community. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has wonderful digital resources to better understand What’s an Upstander? — watch below.

Pink Shirt Day is honoured to showcase Corey Bulpitt’s work through the 2024 campaign. Corey Bulpitt is an internationally recognized artist from the Haida Na7ikun-Raven Clan. Bulpitt is known for his graffiti-influenced, Haida-style work, with pieces displayed across the country. This design was created by Bulpitt in his signature graffiti style, with two gesturing hands featuring a traditional Haida human face. This indicates the welcoming and respect of others and serves as a friendly greeting which is used throughout Coast Salish communities, with similar gestures used throughout communities in the Northwest Coast. The Pink Shirt Day campaign recognizes the importance of unity, inclusivity, and diversity of all people.

Global BC supports CKNW Kids’ Fund Pink Shirt Day 2024 presented by FortisBC - image

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 Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) will also have pink shirts, crew necks and hoodies for sale for Pink Shirt Day to commit to these goals. All items are available to purchase at UNYA’s Main Office 1618 East Hastings during office hours (9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday, closed for lunch 12 pm – 1 pm). K.C. Hall donated the design to UNYA to use on their pink shirts.

The Pink Shirt Day website also offers great digital resources to better understand bullying. On their website, you will find definitions of bullying, support for youth, support for parents and teachers, resources specific to cyberbullying and much more. 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 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. Wearing a pink shirt this Wednesday means that as educators we are committed to SOGI inclusive education all year.

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. 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.  Become an upstander and take a stand against bullying by showing kindness, empathy, and compassion, and speaking out against injustice. In the following video, Justin Preston, an anti-bullying advocate, raises awareness of the serious impacts of bullying and helps those who have been harmed by being kind. Kind words and small actions have meaningful impacts on our communities. This Pink Shirt Day, and every day, take your kindness to new heights and #Lifteachotherup🚀.