It almost goes without saying that bullying is a widespread problem and that it impacts everyone, everywhere. Some of us are bullies, most of us have witnessed bullying, and some of us are victims. Every person has a responsibility to themselves and to their peers to do what they can to expose bullying as the horrifying problem that it is.
February 27 is Pink Shirt Day. Every year, on this day, we wear pink shirts to symbolise our intolerance for bullies and their actions.
Pink Shirt Day is a fantastic way to make a statement against bullying…but…talking about bullying, and working to stop bullying needs to happen every day of the year, not just one day.
Many people can identify bullying in the moment, but many do not understand how damaging the long-term effects can be. Shane Koyczan understands. He is a famous Canadian slam poet. You might remember him from his performance at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremony. You might not know that Shane was a victim of bullying. He uses his talents to expose the long-term consequences of bullying, especially the effects we can’t easily see. He has written poetry as a way of dealing with his experiences, offering support to other victims, and promoting the issue.
Shane wrote To This Day to help anyone, everywhere with bullying. You can read and listen the poem in its entirety here.
Shane felt that he could take his poem and turn it into a bigger project: he wanted to make a video. He put out a request for help and artists from around the world responded. Hundreds of artists contributed to the To This Day project by helping with animation, music, and producing. Below is the final version.
Watch this video. Let it sink in. When you wear your pink shirt this Wednesday, think about the victims of bullying, think about this video, and think about how you can contribute to the positive change.