Toronto – April 7, 2017 – The International Day of Pink is commemorated on the second Wednesday of April as an annual reminder that bullying has no place in our society. The initiative stems from a 2007 event, when two brave Nova Scotia high school students took a stand against bullying by defending a younger student who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt.
Bullying has expanded beyond face-to-face. The reach of the bully can spread further and quicker than ever before through Facebook, text messaging, and other digital media. But the same technology also strengthens our ability to challenge bullying when we see it, and to spread a message of inclusion. We have the power, online and in person, to call out and stop bullying – just like the students who donned pink shirts is solidarity with a fellow student a decade ago.
Within the labour movement, the Day of Pink represents supporting anti-oppression measures such as respecting diversity through inclusion at work. It reminds us about the damaging impact that homophobia, biphobia and sexism can have on colleagues in the workplace who may not feel safe to bring their whole selves to work. It shows us the power of collective action through bargaining anti-discrimination and anti-harassment provisions within our collective agreements, as well as joining together at pride parades across the country.
While we are proud of the work we have undertaken at UFCW Canada to advance LGBTQI2S rights in the workplace and the community, we know we have much more to do. This year, we continue to forge a strong partnership with Egale Human Rights Trust and other allies in our ongoing actions to combat bullying, and to create a workplace and community culture where individuals can be their authentic selves.
On April 12, The International Day of Pink, let us renew our commitment to challenge bullying anytime and anywhere we see it.
Paul R. Meinema
Here are some suggestions of how you can participate in Day of Pink initiatives:
Wear pink on April 12, and tell others why you are doing so.
Download our Day of Pink poster and post and/or share it.
Be a strong ally to others at work. Call it out when you hear someone using homophobic, biphobic and transphobic slurs.
Find out more about the Day of Pink at www.dayofpink.org.
For more information on UFCW Canada actions to end bullying in the workplace go to www.ufcw.ca/pride