MINNEAPOLIS -- From the United States and Mexico to New Zealand, people around the world are preparing for Unity Day on Wednesday, Oct. 21, an event developed by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center to show support for preventing bullying in schools, neighborhoods, and online.
"Unity Day is a great time to wear orange and raise awareness that this is an issue that you care about, and that safe and supportive schools are important," Paula Goldberg, PACER's executive director, said. "We encourage communities and schools around the world to join together against bullying – and unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion on Oct. 21."
Unity Day began in 2011 as part of National Bullying Prevention Month, which was launched by PACER in 2006. In addition to hundreds of events in the United States, Unity Day is now recognized around the world with students and organizations doing numerous activities. Last year, a middle school in Mexico held the first international Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying event; students in New Zealand decorated bullying prevention cookies and corporate employees in Argentina wore orange and shared about their event on social media.
This year, schools and communities are planning more ways to join together against bullying: A dentist office in Minnesota is using orange rubber bands for braces, an entire community in Colorado is placing orange ribbons on every tree and a school in Illinois is handing out orange "kudos" to kids caught doing random acts of kindness.
There are many ways to show support on Unity Day and throughout October:
Wear orange: People can send a message of unity and support by wearing orange items, such as a T-shirt, socks, hat, tie, wristband or shoelaces.
Unite on social media: PACER has created a Unity Day Facebook event that people can "Attend" and "Share" as well as a cover photo that individuals can post on their personal Facebook pages. Unity Day updates, photos and videos can be shared on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #UnityDay2015.
Donate: Show your support by making a donation to the Together Against Bullying (TAG) campaign inspired by Carrot Top. After making a donation at togetheragainst.org, a person will receive real or virtual stickers which they can use to TAG their friends and share on social media using the hashtags #TogetherAgainst and #TagItForward.
Discuss Unity in the classroom and community: The YOU'RE NOT ALONE, WE'RE HERE FOR YOU campaign provides resources to educate students, adults and community members on ways to be there for someone who is experiencing bullying.
Become a champion against bullying: Many nonprofits, schools, and community groups collaborate with PACER during National Bullying Prevention Month, including National Education Association, American Federation for Teachers and the National PTA.