Plan for Wear it Purple day and support the LGBTQIA+ ECEC community
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) workplaces, along with many other Australian workplaces, are gearing up for Wear it Purple Day, held on Friday 25 August, showing their support for the broader LGBTQIA+ community and the rainbow families and educators in their own community.
Wear it Purple Day is a fixture in many calendars as a way for ECEC services and others to demonstrate to their employees, clients and wider network that they are committed to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community in tangible and meaningful ways.
Wear it Purple Board Director and Vice President Brenna Harding has shared the following seven tips to help services to join in the advocacy efforts.
Wear it Purple
“This one probably goes without saying,” Harding began.
“It is the small thing that Wear it Purple was built on that makes such a huge difference.”
As a queer person, Harding continued, being able to look around a room and see a sea of purple “makes me feel supported, safe and happy”.
“Everyone is invited to Wear it Purple, because it takes many hands to make an inclusive environment, and on this day wearing purple is your visible show of support.”
While 2023 orders are unlikely to arrive on time if ordered today, planning ahead for 2024 and beyond means that services will be able to access posters, wristbands, stickers, totes and other merchandise to show their support.
This year, these items are adorned with the 2023 official annual theme ‘Write Your Story’, and feature beautiful artwork by young LGBTIQA+ Wukawe artist Lawson Dodd.
Email [email protected] to explore discounted rates to kit out your whole team in purple tees.
Organise a Wear it Purple speaker
Wear it Purple has a number of speakers who can share their lived experience with employees to help them get a deeper understanding of what Wear it Purple is all about, as well as providing valuable insights and stories about why supporting LGBTIQA+ youth is so important.
“Our entire volunteer team at Wear it Purple, including our Youth Action Council, take time out of their busy work and life schedules around Wear it Purple day to come and support your events as volunteer speakers,” Harding explained.
“We receive such glowing feedback from the workplaces our speakers attend, citing them as inspiring, informative, and engaging.”
Build on the Write Your Story theme
The 2023 Write Your Story theme was chosen by the Youth Action Council at Wear it Purple with the intention of placing emphasis on the importance of personal expression and individuality, and aims to promote visibility, community and acceptance.
“Think about ways you can incorporate storytelling into your celebrations,” Harding advises.
“Perhaps you can encourage your employees to reflect on their personal stories and experiences related to identity and acceptance, and provide platforms such as blog posts, internal newsletters, or even a dedicated space for employees to share their stories.”
“It’s worth thinking about what processes and practices you can include to make sharing personal stories feel safe and enriching for participants. We encourage you to always acknowledge the long history of storytelling in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.”
Hold a Wear it Purple event
Some ideas of events which can be held online and in person are:
- Morning teas
- Panel discussions
- Lunch and learns
- Keynote speakers
- Trivia sessions
- Fireside chats
“We encourage you to get creative too,” Harding said. “How about a fashion show? Art exhibition? A new training program? Or an outing to an LGBTIQA+ owned business?”
Further inspiration is available on the resources page.
“My advice would just be to make sure that any event you run is amplified by meaningful conversation and ongoing culture change,” Harding added.
Introduce or strengthen cultural change initiatives to employees
“Wear it Purple Day may be one day of the year, but it’s also an opportunity to introduce or strengthen culture change initiatives that can influence your organisation year round,” Harding said.
Some ideas to consider include:
- Creating or investing more in an LGBTIQA+ employee resource group
- Evaluating policies, practices, and benefits to ensure they are inclusive and supportive of LGBTQIA+ individuals (including gender neutral language!)
- Providing adequate gender neutral bathrooms
- Encouraging your workplace to take part in the Australian Workplace Equality Index
- Developing a calendar to celebrate and promote key LGBTIQA+ events year-round.
“Employees feeling encouraged and supported to bring their whole selves to work contributes to wellbeing, satisfaction and often improved work outcomes. Think about the intersections of identity that may multiply challenges, discrimination, and barriers at work- and make these a priority,” Harding advised.
Make a donation, sponsor a project
Wear it Purple are currently seeking sponsors for a portfolio of exciting projects.
“Our priority as an organisation is making sure the majority of our spending goes directly to LGBTIQA+ young people,” Harding explained.
“If strengthening a partnership with Wear it Purple is a possibility for your organisation we’d love to chat to you about which of our projects might be the best fit.
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