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Pink Shirt Day
February 27 is Pink Shirt Day. mindyourmind interviewed Hayley Bartsch and Pawara Laothamatas, who are part of the organizing team. Read about how this Canadian anti-bullying program is growing worldwide!
Can you tell us how pink shirt day was started? And why the colour pink?
The CKNW Kids’ Fund became inspired to support anti-bullying programs due to a small act of kindness in small-town Nova Scotia. In 2007, David Shepherd, Travis Price and their teenage friends took a stand against bullying by wearing pink to sympathize with a Grade 9 boy, who was bullied himself for wearing a pink shirt. They distributed pink shirts to other students at school, and showed that a little act of kindness can go a long way. By organizing a Pink Shirt Day campaign each year, we are encouraging everyone to practice kindness, and wear pink to stand against bullying.
How does #pinkitforward work in regards to donating to Pink Shirt Day?
With the #PinkItForward hashtag, Coast Capital will donate a dollar for each hashtag in support for Pink Shirt Day. They will continue to do so until a maximum of $15,000 is reached.
Why is bullying so common online?
A main reason why cyberbullying is so common now is that youth, especially teenagers, are going online more than ever before. Smartphones and computers are being used every day, and texting, as well as social media, are becoming very common ways to communicate. This form of socializing, like any other form of communication, inevitably provides the opportunity for bullying.
If someone wants to support Pink Shirt Day, how do they do this?
There are so many ways to support Pink Shirt Day: you can practice kindness to those around you, fundraise or donate to anti-bullying programs, or join us in wearing a pink shirt to the Pink Shirt Day campaign on February 27th, 2019. For more ways to get involved, please visit our website by clicking this link: https://www.pinkshirtday.ca/get-involved/.
What organizations are you supporting with the money you raise on Pink Shirt Day?
The funds we raise on Pink Shirt Day go to support many anti-bullying programs across BC, and across Canada. Some of these programs include: Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Canada, Red Cross Canada, Kids Help Phone, and Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC.
If someone is being bullied, what should be the first few things they do?
Once someone recognizes that they are being bullied, the first thing they should do walk away, instead of using insults or fighting back. The next thing to do is to reach out for support: this includes reaching out to some friends, a teacher, counsellor, or a help line. The Kids Help Phone number is 1-800-668-6868, and their website is www.kidshelpphone.ca. Remember that bullying is not a normal part of growing up, and no one deserves to be bullied.
What is the future for Pink Shirt Day?
Since its beginning, the Pink Shirt Day movement has spread across Canada, and across the world. Last year, the cause was celebrated in almost 180 countries, including Japan, New Zealand, China, Panama and many others. Though we are a BC-based organization, we do hope that this movement will continue to spread out, and that people will, more and more, take a stand against bullying.
Also, here are the links to our social media:
For more resources and other ways to get involved, please visit our website
Photos from @pinkshirtday Instragram
mindyourmind speaks with advocates, authors, musicians, athletes and other people about their own opinions and life experiences.