In an ongoing effort to promote inclusion, acceptance and kindness at Palo Alto High School, students celebrated Unity Day and National Pronouns Day on Wednesday.
Every year, Unity Day occurs nationwide on the third or fourth Wednesday of October, according to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. On Unity Day, students wear orange to show unity for kindness, acceptance, inclusion and to send a message that bullying of any kind is unacceptable.
This year, the Wellness Center set up a table on the Quad at lunch with stickers, orange candy, orange masks and posters for people to write messages of encouragement or advice on. To celebrate National Pronouns Day, the Wellness Center provided pronoun stickers.
According to Wellness Outreach Worker Shely Benitah, the mental health impact of the coronavirus pandemic motivated the Wellness Center to host this event.
“After COVID, a lot of people are feeling alone or with a lot of feelings, and it’s easy to feel alone in those feelings. And it’s [this event is] … a way to show that no one’s alone.”
— Shely Benitah, Wellness Outreach Worker
The overlap of Unity Day and National Pronouns Day has allowed the Wellness Center to emphasize acceptance of transgender and nonbinary individuals during the day’s activities, according to Benitah.
“An awesome way to be inclusive is … sharing your pronouns with others,” Benitah said.
Freshman Laney Powers said National Pronouns Day is important to help normalize sharing pronouns.
“It’s getting people to actually notice like, hey, people do have multiple pronouns,” Powers said. “You need to respect them.”