Published February 22, 2017 17:44
Do you want to know the secret formula to stop bullying? Kindness, says Dr. John Tyler Binfet is the key. This Pink Shirt Day, the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club is asking the city of Kelowna to embrace a kind(er) stance to the anti-bullying initiative.
Dr. John Tyler Binfet is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at UBC Okanagan and the guest speaker for the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs 3rd Annual Pink Shirt Day Breakfast Presented by Telus.
Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 when two teenage boys brought a group of fellow students together to wear pink t-shirts to school in support of one student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Since then, Pink Shirt Day has grown into a nation-wide movement.
“I see a shift underway in schools and in the office place, where organizations are moving away from anti-bullying initiatives to embrace efforts that promote prosocial behavior,” says Binfet.
According to the University of Pennsylvania, “positive psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive.”
Binfet’s talk will address his research on kindness in schools, and how intentional acts of kindness and positive psychology is crucial in creating happier, kinder, and stronger communities.
“Increasingly adults are held to the same standards we uphold for children and adolescents, and there is less tolerance in the workplace for the office bully. Our efforts to be prosocial, to show care and concerns for others, must extend beyond special events. We must encourage intentional kindness year round. Kindness has a way of bringing people together – it is a great bridge, and the more bridges we build, the better off we’ll all be.”
For Dr. Binfet, intentional kindness is part of his everyday life. One contribution he makes to the community is the B.A.R.K. (Building Academic Retention through K9s) program that he runs at UBC Okanagan. As a passionate advocate for animal rescue, Dr. Binfet sought to combine passions by creating B.A.R.K., or what he describes as “the manifestation of kindness on campus.”
Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs continually strives to encourage kindness and reinforce positive behaviors. This year, Club staff will be taking John Tyler’s advice to heart and creating frameworks for intentional kindness in their programming. Clubs have already been working on some exciting projects about what kindness means to them and are excited to continue activities throughout the year.
Kindness is powerful, so this Pink Shirt Day consider making intentional kindness a part of your life. Together, people can create stronger, healthier, happier communities.