Feb. 27, 2019

Pink Shirt Day reminds us to stand up for others - and check ourselves

Student-inspired movement grows from a single act of bullying

In honour of Pink Shirt Day, the University off Calgary Bookstore will donate $5 to Dare to Care.

The Bookstore

On a typically cold winter day in 2007, David Shepherd and Travis Price witnessed an act of bullying on another student in their school, simply because he was wearing a pink shirt. The boys decided to do something about it. David and Travis went out and bought 50 pink T-shirts and handed them out to friends to wear the following day.

That was the beginning of Pink Shirt Day. What began as a simple gesture of support and solidarity has expanded to become an international event. Now wearing a pink shirt on the last Wednesday of February is an instantly recognizable gesture synonymous with kindness, compassion and empathy.

Bullying is an issue that affects everyone and can take place in schools, homes, on the Internet and in the workplace. Over 75 per cent of people say they have been bullied at some point during their life.

“Pink Shirt Day is a great way to create awareness and highlight the issue of bullying,” explains Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens, PhD, professor with the Faculty of Social Work. “Pink Shirt Day reminds us to be kind and empathetic in our relationships with others.

“Bullying is a relationship problem. Much of our work is focused on helping children and youth create healthy relationships which help to mitigate bullying behaviour.”

This year, Pink Shirt Day is on Wednesday, Feb. 27. As the Pink Shirt Day movement continues to grow, it serves as a reminder to all of us to not only stand up for others but to check ourselves as well.

Dare to Care is a comprehensive and practical bully prevention program in Canada.