the second Wednesday in October (2011 to 2013)
the closest Wednesday to October 22nd (since 2014)
Bullying is a pervasive ill that by one measure affects one in five youths. On Unity Day, those who are bullied are shown that they aren't alone when people come together to wear and display orange. The color shows that those displaying it are against bullying, and are also united in kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. They wear orange for hope and to show support, and to show that no youth should experience bullying. The day brings together youth, parents, teachers, businesses, and community members to say that bullying is unacceptable and that students deserve to be safe.
Unity Day was founded in 2011 by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center, an organization that "actively leads social change to prevent childhood bullying, so that all youth are safe and supported in their schools, communities, and online." The organization has been around since 2006, and also started National Bullying Prevention Month, which takes place during October, of which Unity Day is the signature event. Orange was chosen as the color for the day for a few reasons. It is a vibrant color, which means it can easily convey a message, such as unity, when many people display it together. The color is also often associated with the month of October and with Autumn, as well as with safety and visibility. The color orange becomes a conversation starter. Individuals wear it and display it on social media, students use it in a number of ways at school, businesses offer orange products, and officials light city landmarks with the color today.
How to Observe Unity Day
There are a number of ways that the day can be marked. Here are a few:
- Wear orange clothing, jewelry, or accessories such as earrings or sunglasses. You could even make your own orange item to wear out of construction paper, such as a bracelet, hat, or crown, and could download and print a "Why I'm Wearing Orange" badge.
- Go orange on social media. Downloadable photos and content used to share the message of the day can be found on the "Promote" tab on the day's website. Post photos of yourself wearing orange. Use the Unity Day picture frame on your profile picture. Find this year's Facebook event page and share your pics there. Check out the PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center Facebook page, see photos from past years, and email your photos to have them included in this year's Facebook album.
- Have conversations about bullying and bullying prevention.
- If you are a government official, light a landmark or building orange in your city today.
- There are a number of activities that you could take part in today besides just wearing orange if you are an educator or student. Have a Unity Day classroom discussion, take part in Project Connect, make a Unity Tree, designate something in school or on school grounds as a landmark and decorate it orange, take part in a Unity Parade, learn the Unity Dance, which can be found on the "Dance" tab on the day's website, or make a unity sign, unity mural, unity banner, or unity door decorations.
- Reference the Unity Day Guide for more ideas.