celebrities | April 09, 2013

Why's Rick Mercer Wearing Pink Today? To Put A Stop To Bullying

Rick Mercer is wearing pink today. While the celebrity speaker and host of the Rick Mercer Report says he's usually more of a black and white guy, he's veering away from his usual color palette for a good cause. "I am happy to make the exception [and wear pink]," he says, "if it means stating loud and clear that bullying, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia in schools and communities across Canada must end."

That's what the International Day of Pink is all about. The movement got its start when students at a Nova Scotia school saw a fellow student being bullied for wearing pink. On their own dime, the kids purchased a multitude of pink shirts and passed them out for other students to wear. "Suddenly the bullies who were making this young man’s life miserable were surrounded by students in pink," Mercer recounts. "They learned in no uncertain terms that the vast majority of kids were not going to accept their behavior." Sending the message that bullying is an outlier behavior that most kids won't accept is a vital tool. Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks & Stones and a prominent speaker on bullying, recently argued that most kids don't like bullies as well. If you show kids that the majority of their peers don't think it's "cool" to bully others, Bazelon says that it can help decrease the number of bullying incidents.

Jer’s Vision, a national organization committed to ending homophobia in schools and youth communities, will be hosting a gala for the Day of Pink event. They will present Mercer with the Role Model of the Year Award for his moving rant on the effects of bullying and his passionate appeals to put a stop to bullying and discrimination. Attuned to the news of the moment, Mercer is a timely and relevant speaker on current events and pop culture.  Presenting his satire in a wildly funny manner—just like on the popular Rick Mercer Report—his keynotes can also touch on more serious issues. Often standing room-only, his talks explore all that's great and irreverent about the nation—leaving audiences with a deeper understanding of their country, and the issues it faces.

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