Today you’ll notice a lot of kids wearing pink. This isn’t a late observations of Valentine’s Day or an early celebration of spring. Today is Pink Shirt Day. This is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the problem of bullying. This campaign is supported in schools throughout the country, and across the world, in an effort to support the programs and actions that contribute to children’s healthy self-esteem.
The Power of Purpose
The Pink Shirt Day campaign was started unwittingly by two boys in Nova Scotia. When a new grade nine boy wore a pink polo shirt on the first day of school in 2007, he was bullied for his choice. A pair of older boys in grade 12 didn’t like what they saw and they took a stand. David Shepherd and Travis Price bought 50 pink shirts to outfit their classmates and went online to spread the word. The next day, hundreds of students wore pink and a movement was born.
Pink Shirt Day: The Start of Something Big
Since that day in 2007, Pink Shirt Day has grown into a forceful and influential charity. Funds have been collected since 2008 for anti-bullying programs. Last year along, this funding impacted more than 59,000 children and youth.
This year, Pink Shirt Day has a theme: Cyberbullying. With the prevalence of social media and easy access to the internet, this is a powerful tool for a bully. The ability to reach a wide audience instantly and remain anonymous creates a power imbalance. With messages and pictures that can stay in the public realm forever, cyberbullying can be devastating for victims. Here’s why cyberbullying deserves our attention:
- 94% of Canadian youth have a FB account
- 87% have a cell phone by grade 10
- 7/10 websites visited are social media
- 25% of Canadian kids admit to cyberbullying behavior
- 1 in 3 report being cyberbullied
The Importance of Video
Key West Video has partnered with many organizations, using video to draw attention to important causes. We understand how the power of video can create awareness, connect with an audience, and affect action. Pink Shirt Day has used video to further its cause and keep the anti-bullying sentiment in the public conscience.
In “Kindness Last a Lifetime”, child actors and adult voices are used to effectively speak to different generations. Whether you see this video from the perspective of the bully, the victim, or the accomplice, we bet you can relate to this dramatization. It fosters understanding from every point-of-view and drives home the message that with bullying, nobody wins.
The Studio K Show from CBC Kids has human hosts and a puppet cast. This is a modern children’s television show that includes skype conversations with viewers across Canada and email feedback from young fans. The show is interactive and involved, sometimes tackling social issues like bullying. In this Lunchbox Rap Battle, viewers learn what it means to wear pink.
Video Creates Awareness
Pink Shirt Day is proof that an entire movement can begin with a simple gesture. David Shepherd and Travis Price weren’t trying to start an international anti-bullying campaign when they bought 50 pink shits twelve years ago. The boys were supporting a fellow student by standing with him. But their act of kindness and inclusion has grown to become a global initiative. Video has been and continues to be a vital part of keeping awareness alive. If you have a cause you’d like to promote, we hope the video examples in this blog provide inspiration. When it comes to execution, we’re here to help your organization take the next step.