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‘A celebration of love, acceptance and diversity’: New pink bench installed in Smiths Falls

Submitted photo

Those in the area of Beckwith and Church Streets in Smiths Falls will notice a new bright pink bench installed at the corner. Together with the refresh of the Pride crosswalk at the same location, the bench is intended to serve as a reminder of the importance of celebrating diversity.

Pink is recognized as the colour that represents anti-bullying across Canada.

The first ever ‘Pink Shirt Day was held in 2007, when two students stood up against homophobic bullying after one of their classmates was harassed for wearing pink. They distributed pink shirts to classmates, and the movement has since spread.

Tana Torch, community services coordinator with the town, brought forward the pink bench idea. In a media release, she says that she hopes the ‘inclusion corner’ can become a focal point of community engagement, where individuals from different walks of life can come together to celebrate diversity, share experiences and foster understanding.

“But ultimately, the pink bench represents a celebration of love, acceptance, and diversity, reminding everyone who passes by that every individual deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of who they are or who they love,” Torch stated.

The Smiths Falls For All Committee, which is responsible for advancing the town’s efforts to further develop a diverse and inclusive community and promote equality, discussed the initiative at a recent meeting, and were in full support of the inclusion corner and what it represents.

“With the assistance and support from the town, we are hoping to implement various initiatives throughout the term that support our mandate”, noted Mayor Pankow, chair of the committee. “An inclusive environment promotes empathy, respect for human rights, and freedom, creating a harmonious society where everyone feels valued and free to contribute positively. When there’s diversity and inclusion in our community, it significantly strengthens social cohesion.”

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