Pink Shirt Day: Fostering Unity, Empathy, and Community Building

Photo: Pink Shirt Day t-shirt, designed by 2017 First Nations Art awardee, Corey Bulpitt

The Pink Shirt Day campaign recognizes the importance of unity, inclusivity, and diversity of all people. Originating in Nova Scotia in 2007, this annual event encourages individuals to wear a pink shirt to raise awareness about the hurtful effects of bullying while promoting kindness. 

Pink Shirt Day falls on the last Wednesday of February, this year landing on February 28th. With a goal of creating a more kind, inclusive world by raising awareness and funds for anti-bullying initiatives, this movement has been adopted by schools, workplaces, and communities around the world. This collective effort underlines the consequences of bullying and empowers individuals to take a stand against it, fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose.  

This year’s official Pink Shirt Day t-shirt has been designed by artist, Corey Bulpitt. Corey is a 2017 recipient of BC Achievement’s First Nations Art Award. True to his First Nations heritage, Corey’s design reflects his signature graffiti style, with two gesturing hands featuring a traditional Haida face. The design serves as a welcome to others while conveying respect and friendly greetings practiced through Coast Salish and Northwest communities. Net proceeds from all sales go directly to helping children in British Columbia and Western Canada build healthy self-esteem with themselves and their peers.

Pink Shirt Day events and activities throughout the province are a vibrant reflection of British Columbians’ commitment to promoting kindness, empathy, and community building. From schools to workplaces, various initiatives take place each year to engage people in conversations about bullying and inspire positive change.  

Here are some examples of Pink Shirt Day events and activities in British Columbia: 

1. School Campaigns: 

Schools across British Columbia actively participate in Pink Shirt Day by organizing awareness campaigns and events. Students and teachers wear pink shirts, and many schools plan special assemblies, workshops, and classroom activities focused on kindness, respect, and anti-bullying messages. These initiatives help create a supportive environment that encourages open discussions about the impact of bullying. 

2. Community Workshops and Presentations: 

 Various organizations, including community groups, non-profits, and local businesses, host workshops and presentations on Pink Shirt Day. These events often feature guest speakers, psychologists, or experts in bullying prevention who share insights, strategies, and resources to address and prevent bullying in different settings. 

3. Social Media Campaigns: 

The digital realm plays a significant role in Pink Shirt Day activities. Communities in BC leverage social media platforms to spread awareness, share personal stories, and engage in discussions about the importance of kindness and empathy. Hashtags such as #PinkShirtDay and #BeKindBC gain traction, amplifying the movement’s impact and encouraging widespread participation. 

4.Pink Shirt Day Fundraisers: 

Fundraising events are a common occurrence in British Columbia, with the proceeds often supporting anti-bullying initiatives, mental health organizations, or local charities. Schools, businesses, and community groups organize events such as bake sales, charity runs, and silent auctions, creating opportunities for individuals to contribute to the cause while fostering a sense of community involvement. 

5. Corporate Participation: 

Many businesses in British Columbia actively engage in Pink Shirt Day by encouraging employees to wear pink shirts, hosting awareness sessions, and implementing anti-bullying policies in the workplace. Corporate involvement helps extend the reach of the movement beyond schools, fostering a culture of kindness and respect in professional settings. 

The movement’s impact extends beyond the symbolic act of wearing a pink shirt; it prompts individuals to examine their attitudes, challenge stereotypes, and actively work towards a culture of respect. Pink Shirt Day serves as a reminder that everyone has a role to play in creating a world free from bullying, where diversity is celebrated, and all individuals feel valued and accepted. 

BC Achievement. Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

Join the Conversation, Share the News.