Wearing pink for the cause

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COLOURFUL MESSAGE: Safer Mid Canterbury members with their Pink Shirt Day display (from left) Selwyn Price, Tayla Wright, Brenda Kingsford, Te Kete Tuhinga manager Jill Watson and Hayley Dunlop.
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Safer Mid Canterbury want to see Mid Cantabrians decked out in pink shirts and tops tomorrow for Pink Shirt Day.

It is an annual day about working together to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting kindness and inclusiveness.

It’s about taking a stand against bullying by creating a community where all people feel safe, valued and respected, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion or cultural background.

Celebrated annually around the globe, Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007, when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying as a student was harassed for wearing pink.

Safer Mid Canterbury have five projects to mark the day.

They include a colouring competition for primary school pupils, which will be judged by members of the Ashburton Art Gallery.

Entries will be on display at the library.

Safer Mid Canterbury is joining with Community House and other agencies in Ashburton for a morning tea.

It will undertake a presentation at Ashburton Intermediate School as part of the school’s Pink Shirt Day.

Safer hopes every workplace will encourage their staff to wear a pink shirt or other pink item of clothing to work tomorrow.

Workplaces can take photos of their teams all dolled up in their pink attire and submit it in a draw for a morning tea shout.

In collaboration with the library, Te Kete Tuhinga, Safer has a display there featuring resources about bullying.

Safer Mid Canterbury spokesperson Brenda Kingsford said there was a difference between bullying and abuse.

‘‘Pink Shirt Day is about being an upstander, not a bystander. The campaign is about raising awareness of bullying which isn’t just verbal, its also mental, emotional, physical, financial. It’s about being kind and inclusive of friends and those around you,’’ Kingsford said.

‘‘There is an increase awareness of bullying and some of this has bought about by social media,’’ Kingsford said.

Í Pick up The Pink Shirt Day colouring competition at primary schools, Community House Mid Canterbury, Safer Mid Canterbury and the library, Te Kete Tuhinga.

Entries are to be dropped to the library by May 31.

Entries for the workplace pink shirt photos are to be emailed to rachael.[email protected] to go in the draw for a morning tea shout.