This article was published on February 17th, 2021
This February 24, 2021 is Pink Shirt Day and represents the opportunity to focus on unity and remembering to treat everyone with dignity and respect. The day recognizes the importance of working together to celebrate diversity and promote positivity in relationships. At its core, Pink Shirt Day adheres to creating a community where we all feel valued, safe, and worthy regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or cultural background.
The History of Pink Shirt Day
Now celebrated worldwide, the first Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students decided to take a stand against homophobic bullying in solidarity with another student that was harassed and threatened for wearing pink.
The two students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, decided to fight the issue directly by purchasing and distributing 50 pink shirts for others to wear as a sign of support for their classmate Chuck McNeill.
The show of courage was lauded and now, more than ten years later, Pink Shirt Day is a worldwide phenomenon that has inspired millions of children and adults, as well as raised funds and raised awareness of the importance of anti-bullying programs.
How to Participate
Each year during Pink Shirt Day, people wear a pink shirt that symbolizes taking a stand against bullying. While the day is celebrated in February in many countries including Australia, France, New Zealand, Lebanon, United States, Canada, United Kingdom. The United Nations officially declared the official date to be May 4.
The Effectiveness of Anti-Bullying Campaigns
Research shows that, on average, one out of four kids is subjected to bullying during their adolescence, with most instances occurring more than once. Kids today must contend with traditional forms of bullying as well as digital threats online via social media that impact their day to day lives more than any other generation.
The effects of bullying can be detrimental for children as it affects them emotionally, physically, and mentally. The term ‘bullycide’ refers to those that have committed suicide because of harassments incidents and Pink Shirt Day has been effective over the years at raising awareness between students as well as educating parents on how to assist in empowering children and helping them with any self-esteem issues.
Kids spend a significant amount of time online where bullying can be done easily and often anonymously, which can result in more offenders as repercussions are minimized. Every year, as more people are aware of how great a problem bullying is, the more effective Pink Shirt Day is in providing a means of support that involves a network of peers around the world.
Will you wear pink on February 24, 2021? Tell us your story by leaving a comment below.