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Spread the Word Inclusion 2022

Inclusion is about equality, acceptance and respect for all. Join the Golisano Foundation, Best Buddies, and Special Olympics for our Spread the Word Inclusion 2022: Champions of Change global day of activation on Wednesday, March 2.

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Spread the Word Inclusion Day
Wednesday, March 2

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.

2022 Theme: Champions of Change

Throughout the pandemic, we have seen the harmful impact of isolation and exclusion. We have become more aware of the importance of social connection for overall well-being. In 2021, our community took action for inclusion with a focus on building connections to ensure that individuals with and without intellectual disabilities can feel seen, heard, and valued.

This year, we will recognize young people and grassroots leaders around the world who have persevered to create positive change and build a more inclusive future for all. Throughout the year, we will share stories of individuals from our global Special Olympics and Best Buddies communities who have taken action for inclusion and encourage everyone to celebrate champions of change in their schools, workplaces, and communities.

How will you be a champion of change this year? How can you build a more inclusive future for your community? Who are the champions of change in your life?

Follow along on social media @PledgeToInclude and join us in celebrating our 2022 theme: Champions of Change!

Learn more

Calendar of Events

Wednesday, March 2nd from 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Banner Signing
Nazareth College The York Wellness & Rehabilitation Institute

Wednesday, March 2nd at 4:00 PM via Zoom
Best Buddies “Champions for Change!” Speaker Series featuring John’s Crazy Socks 
Register online: bestbuddies.org/newyork/spread-the-word-inclusion-speaker-series

Thursday, March 3rd at 6:00 PM at Nazareth College Shults Center
Adaptive Yoga

Thursday, March 3rd at 6:00 PM via Zoom
Best Buddies “Champions for Change!” Speaker Series featuring Massapequa High School
Register online: bestbuddies.org/newyork/spread-the-word-inclusion-speaker-series

Friday, March 7th at 7:00 PM at Nazareth College Shults Center
Best Buddies Inclusive Talent Show


Are you hosting or organizing an event to help Spread the Word or have questions?

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