A South Surrey mom and her daughter are going blue over efforts to promote inclusion.
Lynda Honing said she started using the hashtag #beinclusive after her teenage daughter, Isabelle, who has Down syndrome, was recently slighted on the ferry to Pender Island.
“Two adults Isabelle said hi to, they ignored her,” Honing said. “That broke my heart. How can you do that? She’s a beautiful child, if she says hi to you should say hi back.”
After launching the hashtag – she posted photos of herself and Isabelle in blue T-shirts bearing the slogan – Honing said she was blown away by the response, and now wants it to be a global movement.
“It’s just kind of snowballing,” Honing said, of response she received in the campaign’s first 24 hours.
“What happened overnight is it’s literally gone viral. People are just incredibly excited by it.”
Requests for the shirts have been pouring in, Honing said – a development she hadn’t expected.
And now, the mother and daughter are encouraging everyone to wear blue June 1 to show their support for including everyone, of all abilities, genders and ethnicities. Exclusion, Honing said, is “another form of bullying and people need to recognize and understand that.”
“Nobody gets left out,” said Isabelle. “Let them in.”
On Monday, Honing and Isabelle took the message to Grade 5 and 6 students at Rosemary Heights Elementary, and Honing said she is reaching out to Surrey School District officials to try and take the message of how easy it can be to have an impact into more schools.