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March 7 is National R-word Day of Awareness!
Take a Stand Against Using the Word Retarded

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A Video Message from Tom Golisano


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For the eighth year, the Golisano Foundation is challenging the Rochester community to Spread the Word to End the R-Word™. 

The campaign, which has become one of the largest in the country for a single region, is being held on the national Spread the Word to End the Word day of awareness on March 7.

It asks 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 was started by youth and is an ongoing effort of Special Olympics International and Best Buddies.

Spread the Word to End the Word was founded in 2009 and is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics (SO), Best Buddies to inspire respect and acceptance. The Golisano Foundation has spearheaded this initiative in Rochester since 2011. 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. 

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A Video Message from Senator Rich Funke

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How You Can Spread the Word!

  • Hold a pledge event on or around March 7, 2018. Go to r-word.org 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.

  • Social Media – We will also be following along on social media. Tag us in your pictures and tweets on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #RocRespect #respect and #rword.
  • Send an email to your constituents asking them to take the pledge online or attend your event.

  • Put a notice in your newsletters to encourage people to take the pledge.

  • Add a banner to your website. (Download official graphics here »)

  • Post a challenge and personal stories on social media to your followers.

  • Change your organization's Facebook cover photo. (Download official graphics here »)

  • Take the pledge yourself. It only takes a minute.

  • Email the Foundation with Pledge Activities - The Foundation will recognize those organizations that are spreading the word on this page. To be included organizations should send an email to egleason@golisanofoundation.org

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A Video Message from Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo

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Highlights of Activities - Our thanks to these organizations that are Spreading the Word

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. Be sure to share photos of your events on Facebook and tag the @GolisanoFoundation and #RocRespect and also on Twitter tag @GolisanoFnd.

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A Video Message from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren

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Last updated: February 22, 2018