Golisano Foundation Header

double rule

News & Events

Golisano Foundation Launches 5th Annual Challenge to
Spread the Word to End the “R” Word

March 4th is National R-Word Day!
Take a Stand Against Using the Word Retarded


double rule

double ruleFor the 5th year, the Golisano Foundation is spearheading a campaign in Rochester NY to Spread the Word to End the Word ™ . The campaign is likely one of the largest in the nation to create a more accepting world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have unique gifts and talents to share with the world.

It aims to build awareness and support for thinking about and making a stand against using the R-word - “retard” or “retarded,” words that have gained popularity in culture, but are offensive and hurtful to many.

Here are local organizations planning Spread the Word to End the Word pledge activities. If your organization is having a pledge activity, please Email us to share how you are spreading the word and we will add you to this list to recognize your organization.

More than 500,000 people have already signed the pledge and Rochester is once again proud to lead the way,” said Ann Costello, Director of the Golisano Foundation. “Through greater awareness we can inspire other communities to make a dramatic change - and to think before using words that perpetuate the stigma and negative stereotypes.” 

“Most people who use the words retard or retarded do not mean to be hateful, but to the millions of people around the world who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families and friends, it is hurtful, and as cruel and offensive as any other slur.”

Spread the Word to End the Word™ was started by youth and is an ongoing effort of Special Olympics International, Best Buddies and other supporters.

“Each year we continue to make an impact and are grateful for the response we receive.  We want to continue to build awareness and keep the message going. We’re asking people, schools, businesses, organizations and communities to take the pledge to end the r- word and use the new r-word, respect. It’s easy, it doesn’t cost anything, it takes just a minute and it can make a big difference.“

"Spread the Word to End the Word" by Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY

double rule

HowYou Can Spread the Word!

double rule

Articles of Interest

August 12, 2015