Recognizing Pink Shirt Day 2023

On February 22, 2023, the University of Toronto celebrates Pink Shirt Day, recognized annually in Canada on the last Wednesday of February.

Sixteen years ago, two Nova Scotia high school students organized a “pink protest” that would inspire the creation of Pink Shirt Day, now celebrated in more than 110 countries worldwide. After seeing a grade 9 boy being bullied for wearing pink, they encouraged their peers to show solidarity by donning pink shirts, tank tops, or wristbands at school the following day. For some institutions and communities, Pink Shirt Day is an opportunity to address bullying motivated by homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. The day has become a broader call for the elimination of all forms of bullying, discrimination, and harassment.

At the University of Toronto, Pink Shirt Day is an excellent opportunity for all employees to remember our commitments to each other: to fulfill our roles as faculty, librarians, and staff while honouring everyone’s right to learn and work in environments free of bullying, incivility, harassment, and discrimination of any kind.

The collective act that inspired Pink Shirt Day reminds us that bullies are rendered powerless in the face of compassion. I encourage everyone in the U of T community to challenge bullying, incivility, discrimination, and harassment in all the spaces that we learn, work, and gather and to actively support a campus culture that affirms the many identities we hold. With small and simple actions, we will foster a community whose strength is measured by the respect we show for each other.

Tri-Campus Supports for Faculty, Librarians, and Staff

Raising a concern or complaint

Confidential pathways are available to U of T employees experiencing bullying, harassment, or discrimination of any kind. There are no reprisals for raising a concern or complaint. Should you wish to do so, you have many options.

Additional pathways for the U of T community: