The local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, in conjunction with the local Celebrating Diversity committee, is urging the community to stand up against bullying and show your support by participating in this year’s “International Day of Pink” on Wednesday (April 8).
“The Day of Pink promotes inclusion and promotes the celebration of diversity and anti-bullying,” stressed Nancy Daley-Fulton, of the local CMHA and member of the Celebrating Diversity committee.
“What it’s saying is we want to support people who are different and that’s really important,” she voiced.
She said the CMHA is all about inclusion and diversity.
“Just because someone is different doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them,” Daley-Fulton expressed, citing the “Day of Pink” is also a day aimed against discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia in schools and communities.
“We see a lot of focus on homophobia, transgender, and LGTB,” she noted.
“We know that people, especially youth, who are struggling their sexual identity are at a higher risk for developing mental health problems,” added Daley.
“For me, [Day of Pink] is just a really important day and it’s easy to wear pink and say I support diversity, I support inclusion, I support anti-bullying,” she stressed.
“I think we all need to be accepted.”
She encourages everyone to get “pink” by decorating their businesses, their cars, their homes, and even their yards in pink.
“Wear pink, bake something pink, just do something that says, ‘I support Day of Pink and I support what it stands for,’” she urged.
The local CMHA, as well as many schools, businesses, and organizations in the area, have participated in the “Day of Pink” for the last few years.
But Daley-Fulton wants it to become even more widespread.
“People have been really supportive of it, but we’d like everyone to get involved and understand what it’s all about,” she remarked.
Several organizations this year will be celebrating “Day of Pink” with special events.
For instance, the Fort Frances Public Library will be showing the movie “Billy Elliot” at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The movie, about a boy who wants to be a dancer, is rated PG-13 and is nearly two-hours long.
“It fits in really nicely with the Day of Pink message,” voiced library CEO Alicia Subnaik Kilgour.
Meanwhile, the United Native Friendship Centre will be hosting an open house BBQ for all from noon- 2 p.m. that day.
There will be hamburgers, hotdogs, beverages, fruit, and vegetables.
Both of these events are free and everyone is welcome.
The local CMHA will have banners adorning their buildings and will be handing out pink carnations at Rainycrest and other businesses, while schools within the Rainy River District School Board will be encouraging staff and students to wear pink and will also be participating in assemblies and anti-bullying activities.
At Fort High, the “Best Buddies” students will be parading through the halls and will be selling pink shirts on Tuesday for those who would like one.
In addition, other organizations will be urging staff and clients to wear pink and will be changing their websites and social media sites to the colour pink.
Some businesses will have pink displays in their windows.
For more information, visit www.dayofpink.org