Since 2011 PACER’s national bullying prevention center has sponsored Unity Day; a day where community’s color themselves orange to inspire hope and community while raising awareness about the consequences of bullying.
Unity; the state of being united or joined as a whole.
It seems like such a simple thing but being truly united is the most powerful thing in the world. Being united means that nobody feels alone, it means that when we look at each other we do so with love. Being united means that everyone is welcomed, that we can live without fear of judgement or criticism. Unity goes deeper than a sense of belonging and a weapon against bullying. It’s what society is based off of, how inventions are created and how civilizations grow and advance. Unity is essential to our lives.
Working mostly with middle and high school students, it did not take long for me to realize that the bullying students face can make it almost impossible for them to focus on anything else, let alone schoolwork. After talking with a few of the seventh grade girls that have been heavily involved in both sides of the bullying, we wanted to do as much as possible to reduce the problem and build a sense of community and accountability.
This effort started with conversations with individual students and grew from there. At Bruce Randolph school 43 students, largely seventh graders, signed anti-bullying pledge cards in a mere 15 minutes last Wednesday before school started. Today, my team and I participated in Unity Day with the hopes that our students will join in and ideally start their own anti-bullying initiatives.
Regardless of how you celebrate Unity Day this year- whether its painting your nails, handing out orange ribbons, or dressing in all orange- make sure you remember the goal behind it; as a society it is our responsibility to make every effort to build unity each day.
Check out http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/unity-day.asp?gclid=CLfOiPbMu8ECFYxDMgodJzoAJA for ideas on how to participate in Unity Day and hashtag your own participation #UnityDay2014!
Blog post by Alex Menendez, City Year Denver Americorps Member