March 7, 2018

Spread the Word to End the R-Word Day Pledge Activities

2018 R Word Banner

Today is the national day of awareness to Spread the Word to End the R-Word™. For the eighth year, a record number of organizations will join the Golisano Foundation asking people to pledge to take a stand against using the R-word, “retard” or “retarded,” a word that is offensive and derogatory to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Rochester movement has become one of the largest in the country.

Spread the Word to End the Word was started by youth and is an ongoing effort of Special Olympics International and Best Buddies. The goal is to promote more inclusive communities for people with disabilities and special needs, and reach out to more people who can spread the word and pledge to use respectful language that promotes more accepting attitudes for all people. The R-Word initiative also helps celebrate the unique gifts and talents that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have and can share with the world.

Press Conference


Bishop Kearney High School will host a press conference where the New York State, Monroe County, the City of Rochester, and the Town of Irondequoit will proclaim the day “End the R-word Day”.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 10:20 to 11:15 a.m., Bishop Kearney High School,125 Kings Hwy S., Rochester. Parking available in front loop; Media to be escorted to auditorium by Bishop Kearney High School students.


  • Conor McMahon, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
  • Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo
  • City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren
  • David Seeley, Irondequoit Town Supervisor
  • Steve Salluzzo, President, Bishop Kearney High School
  • Evalyn Gleason, Golisano Foundation
  • Amber Hush, Best Buddies Rochester
  • Bishop Kearney High School students


Highlights of Other R-Word Activities The following Rochester organizations will be Spreading the Word to End the Word with pledge activities on site, email, social media campaigns and more:

March 7

  • 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Nazareth College pledge signing, Café Sorelle (located in the Golisano Academic Center), 4245 East Ave., Rochester.
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Rochester Museum and Science Center pledge signing, 657 East Ave., Rochester.
  • On-site media contacts: Hannah Barry (585) 271-4552 x247
  • 10 a.m to 2 p.m. – University of Rochester Medical Center pledge signing at Café 601 at Strong (601 Elmwood Ave., Rochester, located on the first floor of the hospital by the red elevators) and Eastman Dental lobby (625 Elmwood Ave., Rochester)
  • On-site media contacts: URMC Sean Dobbin (585) 739-9529; Eastman Dental Virginia Yanez Fontenla (585) 831-6101
  • 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. – The Strong National Museum of Play pledge signing, 1 Manhattan Square Dr., Rochester.
  • Museum general admission – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • “The Happiest Hour” after-hours event – 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (21 and over).
  • On-site media contacts: Crisandra Harrison or Kate Whitman
  • 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. – Nativity Prep Academy Assembly,15 Whalin St, Rochester. Evalyn Gleason, Golisano Foundation, and Best Buddy speaking.
  • On-site media contacts: Ginny Lenick (585) 271-1630
  • 7:05 p.m. – Rochester RazorSharks game pledge signing, Blue Cross Arena, 100 Exchange Blvd, Rochester.

More Events this Month

  • March 8 – 4 to 6 p.m.: Spread the Word Event at Gigi’s Playhouse, 372 North Goodman St., Rochester.
  • On-site media contact: Lindsay Jewett (585) 259-4558, Best Buddies
  • March 8 – 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Everybuddies Choir Performance, Wilmot Recital Hall at the Nazareth College Arts Center, 4245 East Ave, Rochester.
  • March 9 – Nazareth College Light it up Blue. Wear blue on campus to show your support for disability awareness. 4245 East Ave., Rochester.
  • March 9 – 7:05 p.m. – Amerks game pledge signing, Blue Cross Arena, 100 Exchange Blvd, Rochester.
  • Lindsay Jewett (585) 259-4558, Best Buddies; Nicole Richardson (585) 286-9934, Amerks
  • March 11 – 3:05 p.m. – Amerks game pledge signing, Blue Cross Arena, 100 Exchange Blvd, Rochester.
  • Lindsay Jewett (585) 259-4558, Best Buddies; Nicole Richardson (585) 286-9934, Amerks
  • March 14 – 4 to 8 p.m.: Happy Hour at Swiftwater Brewery, 378 Mt Hope Ave., Rochester. $1 off drafts, pledge signing, t-shirt give away.
  • On-site media contact: Jim Rosette (585) 530-3471
  • March 23 – 4 p.m.: Spread the Word Amerks Game, Blue Cross Arena, 100 Exchange Blvd, Rochester. Banners and promotion throughout the game. Open skate for kids and families from 4 to 6:30 p.m.; game starts at 7:05 p.m.
  • On-site media contacts: Lindsay Jewett (585) 259-4558, Best Buddies; Nicole Richardson (585) 286-9934, Amerks

Friends of the Golisano Foundation that are participating outside Rochester

  • Best Buddies New York (covers areas from New York City to Buffalo)
  • Lee Health Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida
  • Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center
  • University at Buffalo
  • Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital

How to Organize a Pledge Event

Go to and take the pledge, and to get information and resources on how to Spread the word to end the word in schools, companies and organizations.

Email the Foundation with Pledge Activities

The Foundation will recognize those organizations that are spreading the word on the web site.
The Foundation will also be following along on social media. Tag us in your pictures and tweets on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram  using the hashtags #respect, #rword, and #RocRespect.

Related Posts