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Pink Shirt Day

Published: Mar 6, 2024 @ 12:00 PM

In honour of Pink Shirt Day last week, we thought it apt to discuss some ideas on ways to be engaged in advocacy in your community. The action that goes along with wearing the pink shirt! To extrapolate from this George W. Bush quote “America needs more than taxpayers, spectators, and occasional voters. America needs full-time citizens.” (Commencement address at Ohio State University, June 2002). The same is true for the communities across Canada voting is great but so is collective action, political involvement, community service and social change. These do not need to be extraordinary acts, in fact they probably should be the opposite, small actions that influence others to take similar small actions. In doing so we create sustainable shifts, stronger understanding and more empathy. Malcolm Gladwell has a great podcast episode about this very thing, where he breaks down that great feats of humanity are not singular heroic actions but small acts of grace that add together. 

Here are a couple small things that will take less than ten minutes to make our communities better spaces for everyone: 

Sign a petition. 

Donate to a cause you care about (the charitable sector is responsible for so much in our society, they appreciate it)

Interrogate the things that have always been done (if you hold space on a board much of the systems were probably not designed for the humans on the outer circles of the wheel of privilege)

Say nice things to people (our brains are programed to need to hear the good stuff 10x more for it to stick)

Write a letter to the editor (in support of something or in objection to something you’ve read)

Amplify something on social media (use your sphere of influence to stand for a cause)

Say the quiet thing out loud (keep yourself safe but it is hugely powerful when we call on our fellow humans to be accountable). 

Be a good neighbour (you know what that means for you)

Buy a meal or beverage for a person who needs it 

Wear your advocacy (choose clothing that has a message, have a sticker on your water bottle that demonstrates your beliefs. You never know who might see it and feel seen.) 

Write to your elected officials about all the things (you might get a form response but just learned these humans must keep account of their correspondences so many interactions on the same topic matters come election time.)