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Spread the Word Inclusion 2021

Inclusion is about equality, acceptance and respect for all. Join the Golisano Foundation, Best Buddies, and Special Olympics for our Spread the Word Inclusion 2021 - Connection global day of activation on Wednesday, March 3.

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Spread the Word Inclusion Day
Wednesday, March 3

Watch - Spread the Word Rochester Community Message by Special Olympics NY and Best Buddies NY

The Spread the Word Inclusion campaign was created and re-imagined by youth, and is intended to engage schools, organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support of inclusion and to promote acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Creating a more inclusive world starts with a single action: yours.

Together we can make inclusion a reality for all people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. There are many ways to spread inclusion where you live, learn and work.

The Golisano Foundation has been challenging people to Spread the Word to End the R-Word (the word retard or retarded) and now Spread the Word Inclusion for a decade, encouraging participation from people across New York state and Florida. The Foundation's annual campaign has become one of the largest in the country for a single region and is held on the national Spread the Word Inclusion day of awareness in early March. Schools, non-profits, businesses and many other organizations organize awareness events ask people to pledge to take a stand against using the R-word, "retard" or "retarded." The r-word has gained popularity in culture, but is offensive and derogatory to people with developmental disabilities. Spread the Word to End the Word now Spread the Word Inclusion was started by youth and is an ongoing effort of Special Olympics International and Best Buddies.

2021 Theme: Connection

This past year, we have seen the effects that isolation and exclusion can have on us individually, as a community, as a country, and as a global community. A pandemic, physical distancing, powerful reminders of overdue action needed for justice and equity, disruptions to the building blocks of social interaction and more have both energized and exhausted us. They have separated and divided us. They have disconnected us from each other. And when we are disconnected, we are robbed of the opportunity to learn and grow together.

Building on our grassroots experience over the years from the Spread the Word campaign, this year we are focusing on the importance of connection. Though the tools we use to connect may change, our shared need for connection does not.

Connection is at the very root of inclusion. It is the relationship among individuals who feel seen, heard and valued. This year, Spread the Word emphasizes the need for connection

We invite you and your organization to plan an activity to encourage connection on the global Inclusion Day of activation on Wednesday, March 3rd.

Learn more


Thank You to These Organizations Helping to Spread the Word:

Ability Partners Foundation - Happiness House/CP Rochester/Rochester Rehabilitation Center
Lifetime Assistance, Inc.
Campaign D Inc.
Golisano Autism Center
The Arc of Chemung-Schuyler
Holy Childhood
CDS Monarch
Mary Cariola Center
University of Rochester


Facebook Event Page


Questions? Please contact Erica Dayton (585) 419-9979 or edayton@golisanofoundation.org.


Page last updated: Mar. 1, 2021