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CHATTER: Pink Day returns to University of Toronto Schools (Mar. 2023)

April 12th, 2023 · No Comments

University of Toronto Schools’ Day of Pink celebration seen here in 2018. Toronto Police sent their mounted unit to show their support. BRIAN BURCHELL/GLEANER NEWS

On April 12, the University of Toronto Schools (UTS) is celebrating the International Day of Pink for the tenth year to stand up against bullying and support its 2SLGBTQ+ community. The Day of Pink will be celebrated with a block party and raffles for the community, in addition to assemblies led by UTS students.

The International Day of Pink, like Pink Shirt Day (which falls in February), is an event which encourages students to wear a pink shirt to stand up against bullying. The Day of Pink, however, focuses specifically on preventing anti-2SLGBTQ+ bullying and hate.

The Day of Pink was first observed in 2007 when two high school students in Nova Scotia noticed their gay peer was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The next day, everyone at the school wore pink to stand up for the bullied student, sparking a tradition which has had millions of annual participants since.

“The Day of Pink corresponds directly with our morals and our values (at UTS) of making everyone feel welcome here, no matter what sex, orientation, background, or religious beliefs they have,” said Chris Walasek, a teacher and organizer of the UTS Day of Pink celebrations. “I’ve heard time and time again from students that events like these make all the difference,” said Walasek.

UTS will hold a block party on April 12 on Washington Avenue outside their new building which will feature live music, vendors, raffles, and other student-led celebrations. The raffles,  endorsed by the Bloor-Annex BIA and many of its members, will offer a variety of prizes donated by businesses along Bloor Street. Proceeds will go to support Rainbow Railroad, a non-profit organization that helps persecuted 2SLGBTQ+ individuals around the world relocate to safety. The UTS population of over 700 students and staff members invites community members to show their support on the day by wearing pink and joining the fun at their block party.

—Fox Oliver/Gleaner News


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