Pink Shirt Day in New Zealand Date in the current year: May 17, 2024

Pink Shirt Day in New Zealand Pink Shirt Day is an international anti-bullying campaign that originated in Canada and has since spread to other parts of the world. The first Pink Shirt Day in New Zealand, for example, was held in 2009. It is usually celebrated on the third Friday of May.

While anyone can be the target of bullying, members of certain marginalized groups are more likely to experience bullying than others. For example, members of the LGBTQIA+ community (or individuals who are assumed to belong to the rainbow community based on their appearance or behavior) experience higher levels of bullying. Pink Shirt Day started as a campaign to stop homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

Pink Shirt Day was conceived in 2007 by two high school students from Cambridge, Nova Scotia. When a new student came to school wearing a pink polo shirt on his first day and was harassed and threatened for it, twelfth-grade students Travis Price and David Shepherd decided to do something about it. They went to a discount store, bought several dozen pink shirts, and gave them out to fellow students the next day, encouraging them to wear pink with pride.

Price and Shepherd’s initiative sparked an anti-bullying movement that has spread across Canada and beyond. New Zealand was one of the first countries to launch its own Pink Shirt Day in 2009. It is an annual awareness campaign that aims to stop bullying by promoting inclusiveness and kindness and celebrating diversity. The main goal of NZ Pink Shirt Day is to create a community where all people feel respected, valued and safe regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, age, cultural background, religion, or ability.

The motto of Pink Shirt Day is “Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying”. “Speak Up” refers to having conversations about bullying and the ways to combat it with the people in your life, as well as reaching out for help when you need it. “Stand Together” means to take a unified stand against bullying and sending a message that there is no place for bullying in New Zealand. And, hopefully, speaking up and standing together will eventually make it possible to stop bullying once and for all.

The easiest way to get involved with Pink Shirt Day is to wear a pink shirt in order to show your stance against bullying and start important conversations. It might not seem much, but when thousands of people across the country wear pink shirts on the same day, they raise the visibility of the anti-bullying campaign and encourage others to join and make their contribution to celebrating diversity and ending bullying. Participants are encouraged to buy official Pink Shirt Day t-shirts because the proceeds from their sale are used to fund anti-bullying programs and activities, but any pink shirt will do.

Other ways to observe Pink Shirt Day include organizing an anti-bullying event at you school or workplace, reaching out to someone who is being bullied and helping them any way you can, reading a book about diversity, kindness and bullying prevention, and sharing information about the campaign on social media with the hashtag #PinkShirtDay.

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