PINK SHIRT DAY is today across BC, and really across Canada and the world at this point. It is an important day to highlight the very serious issue facing people of all ages–bullying, harassment, cyber-bullying, and people just.not.being.kind. To me, it means something a little bit different.
PINK SHIRT DAY was a grassroots movement started in 2007 by a 17 year old boy in eastern Canada–all in support of another student who was harassed for wearing a pink shirt to school. By recognizing, organizing and executing the first “pink shirt day” to take a stand of the injustice of bullying, this student is just one example of how young people CAN make a HUGE difference in society and their communities.
To often we forget that students like this young boy were the “firestarters” for change in their communities, as movements like PINK SHIRT DAY become more commercialized and take on a life of their own. PINK SHIRT DAY is just one of many examples of how students (OUR STUDENTS!) want to have the opportunity to change the world, whether it be through social activism, entrepreneurship or even a mix of both. The question is, how can we promote and support students in a way that helps them make these big ideas into reality?
I might be bias, because of the role I play with Career Education; but honestly, the endeavour that is Pink Shirt Day is an amazing example of what a Capstone project could be! For those outside of BC; our graduating students are required to create a project of their choosing to demonstrate their passion, their learning or even create something new. In a lot of ways, this project is a way for us to help students learn more about ways they personally can, have and will impact their world. The heart of Career Education, and really, BC’s Core Competencies is to give students the opportunity (and for some, the excuse) to jumpstart their big ideas, to move forward with their plans to change the world. Some great examples are the Youth Philanthropy Initiative, the Socialpreneurship Project, STEM, project-based learning, MakerSpaces. School-based programs, such as the partnership and trades programs, IB, leadership, social justice–there are too many to name. They are all opportunities to connect into WHO students want to be in the world, which will hopefully lead them to WHAT they want to be.