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Empathy and kindness are universal traits that everyone can share to brighten someone’s day.

Sometimes it simply takes a passing smile in the hallway, a gentle nod of approval, to break down the barriers of isolation we’ve built up inside of us. Through si mple gestures, we c an eliminate bullying and promote healthy, happy schools and workplaces.

Students from across Yellowknife demonstrated how kindness can help overcome any challenge through music, photos and anecdotes.

This year’s theme is “Kindness: one size fits all,” a phrase that works so well because while we’re all different in unique and fascinating ways, we all have the capacity to express kindness and acceptance.

Students gathered in the Great Hall of the Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife Wednesday, February 24 to commemorate Pink Shirt Day with more than 100 students. Students from Fort Smith and Inuvik took part in Pink Shirt Day at their schools as well.

“Pink Shirt Day is a chance for us all to reflect on how we can help to change the lives of those around us for the better,” said Jack Bourassa, Regional Executive Vice President for the Public Service Alliance of Canada North. “It’s also a reminder that we must work together to stamp out bullying in all its forms in our communities.”

“It’s important to remember that bullying and harassment doesn’t end in the schoolyard. For many it follows them home and to the workplace as they grow older,” said Gayla Thunstrom, Union of Northern Workers First Vice President and interim Northern Territories Federation of Labour President. “It is only through mutual respect and understanding that we can truly eliminate discrimination.”