Golisano Foundation Challenges Rochester to Pledge for Respect

There's a community in upstate New York that is doing an amazing job of helping to Spread the Word to End the Word. Through the leadership of a local foundation, the entire community is rallying around activities and events promoting the respect and inclusion of all people.

The Golisano Foundation, partnering with their local Special Olympics program, issued a challenge to their Rochester community to Spread the Word to End the Word to show its love and create a more accepting world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have unique gifts and talents to share with the world.

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

“We believe that with greater awareness Rochester can lead the way nationally, and inspire other communities to make a dramatic change - and to think before using words that perpetuate the stigma and negative stereotypes."

“So 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.“

"I can't tell you how wonderful this is and how grateful I am to the foundation for playing such an amazing leadership role in the Spread the Word campaign," said Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics.

The awareness campaign includes TV spots on WHEC TV 10 and radio public service announcements featuring Tom Golisano, Chairman of the Golisano Foundation.


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  • I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabil...

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    Chantelle

    Prieska, South Africa

  • I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabil...

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    Aurora, Colorado

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    Kylea Tinnes

    Ottumwa, Iowa

  • I have had the blessing to be involved with Special Olympics and Champions Together and live life along side many peers with Intellectual Disabilities. If I have learned ...

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    Darby Roberts

    Carmel, Indiana

  • I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabil...

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    Shea

    Woodstock, Illinois

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