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Movement ChampionsJohn "Frank" Stephens became a national phenomenon by showing us all how to create a more accepting society.
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Your Stories

March 03, 2015 | North America: Virginia

For My Brother

By Natalie Roy

My brother Josh has Down Syndrome, but he never let that stand in his way. On top of being one of the most genuinely caring, kind hearted, and pure personalities in existence, he is an athlete, an artist, an entertainer, a jokester, a hug bug, a prayer warrior, and a hero.View Story ▼My brother Josh has Down Syndrome, but he never let that stand in his way. On top of being one of the most genuinely caring, kind hearted, and pure personalities in existence, he is an athlete, an artist, an entertainer, a jokester, a hug bug, a prayer warrior, and a hero. He has taught me more about love, life, and acceptance than I ever thought it possible to know. The R-Word trivializes everything that he has been able to accomplish in this life. It labels him as someone who has failed rather than someone who has succeeded. He has overcome far more difficulties than the average person will have to face, and he should be praised and commended for that, not condemned and mocked. When we were young, people used the R-Word to describe him, rather than examining his heart and his character. I stand by the Spread the Word to End the Word organization because I know that there are people out there along with Josh who deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and love.

About Natalie Roy:I am 26 years old and originally from California. I am attending graduate school at Regent University for my MFA in Acting, and I will always be an advocate of love, respect, and equality for all.
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March 03, 2015 | SOI: Region North America

Labels

By M

I was babysitting a kid and he was just the sweetest kid on the face on the planet and I had no idea that he was autistic. He was 3 and his parents were taking to get him tested the next day.View Story ▼I was babysitting a kid and he was just the sweetest kid on the face on the planet and I had no idea that he was autistic. He was 3 and his parents were taking to get him tested the next day. When I babysat him the next time, I looked at him differently and I finally realized he was the same person as he was before, just with a label. Labels can be awful dont use them.

About M:
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March 03, 2015 | North America: New York

Use Your Words, not fists

By Julia

Okay, I admit it. I have beaten someone up because of the r word. After this person said it, I simply said, "Please use a different word. That is not a very nice word."View Story ▼Okay, I admit it. I have beaten someone up because of the r word. After this person said it, I simply said, "Please use a different word. That is not a very nice word." This person looked at me and said, "Why should I?" I explained the whole reason and even wrote down the website for them. They took the little scrap of paper, looked at it for a second, and then ripped it up and threw it in the trash bin. They also said some things that I won't repeat. They kept pushing me and pushing me. They made sure that they used the r word in front of me a lot. Eventually, I couldn't stand it. I used my fists. My teacher stepped in and took us outside. Luckily, that teacher was the only one who I had told that I don't like the r word. She knew what happened. She stood up for me.

About Julia:Remember to use your words and not your fists.
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March 03, 2015 | North America: Kansas

West Middle School Eliminates the R-Word

By West Spreads the Word to End the Word!

Students within the Life Skills III classroom at West Middle School learned about the National Campaign, Spread the Word to End the Word. Students wanted to help the cause and make students and staff aware that words can hurt.View Story ▼Students within the Life Skills III classroom at West Middle School learned about the National Campaign, Spread the Word to End the Word. Students wanted to help the cause and make students and staff aware that words can hurt. The class decided to make a video interviewing staff and students on their interpretation of the word and asking them to take the pledge to end the word once and for all!

About West Spreads the Word to End the Word!:My name is Bailey Tennesen. I am a special education teacher at West Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas. My goal is to have students become self-advocates for their disabilities and have a voice.
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March 03, 2015 | North America: North Dakota

Waverly is such a beautiful blessing

By Lisa S

I was guilty of using that word to describe things, and I was so totally wrong. It took the blessing of our beautiful Waverly to understand it, and I did in an instant.View Story ▼I was guilty of using that word to describe things, and I was so totally wrong. It took the blessing of our beautiful Waverly to understand it, and I did in an instant. She is 19 months old and is so amazing. I feel so bad when I think of how I abused that word. That word is so wrong. I get so sick feeling when I think about Waverly ever having to hear that word directed at her. I pray that she never does. Ever.

About Lisa S:Blessed to be the mother to such a special little girl.
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Upcoming Events


Date

Event

Location

Mar 3 - 5 2015

R-word Campaign Week

In the first week of March, Special Olympics at UCLA is partnering with Best Buddies at UCLA to host the R-word Campaign, which aims to encourage Bruins to end their use of the R-word (retard or retarded) in their everyday speech. The campaign is a week-long series of events, with rallies on Bruin Plaza on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a professional panel on Thursday evening. We will be inviting Bruins to pledge to end the R-word by signing their name on our "Spread the word to End the word" banner, passing out pledge cards, wristbands and pens, and inviting speakers like Special Olympics Southern California President and CEO Bill Shumard to talk about how the r-word has affected their lives and how to end the stigma against people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
For more information
Tabitha Lin
Email: lin.tabitha@gmail.com
Phone: 562-964-5671
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Bruin Plaza
Bruin Plaza

Los Angeles, California
UNITED STATES

Mar 3, 2015
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Santa Barbara High School R-Word Rally

As a Project UNIFY school, Santa Barbara High School will host an R-Word Pledge Drive and Rally to gather support before the national day of awareness on March 4th. The signatures they collect during their rally will be displayed the following day on Wednesday, March 4th at the Santa Barbara Courthouse pledge drive hosted by Special Olympics Santa Barbara and other local organizations.
For more information
Michelle Duke
Email: mduke@sosc.org
Phone: 805-884-1516
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Santa Barbara High School
700 E Anapamu St Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Santa Barbara, California
UNITED STATES

Mar 3, 2015
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

March Mixer and Spread the Word to End the Word Event

You're invited to join The Arc Davidson County and Greater Nashville Junior Advisory Board (JAB) and Transit Now Nashville for a mixer and awareness event at Bar Louie - Nashville in The Gulch. Sign-In after arriving at Bar Louie and you will gain access to an additional hour of happy hour specials until 8pm. In addition, this event will include guest speakers and an opportunity to sign a pledge to stop the use of the "R" word 'retard(ed)'. For more information, check out Spread the Word to End the Word. Please RSVP to this event by Monday, March 2nd. We look forward to seeing you there!
For more information
More Details
Tyler Lisowski
Email: tylerlisowski@gmail.com
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Bar Louie
314 11th Ave S

Nashville, Tennessee
UNITED STATES

MORE »

Spread the Word 3.04.15

Our annual day of awareness, the first Wednesday of every March, is fast approaching! Make sure you have all the resources you need to end the R-word on 03.04.15!

Join Us to End the Word

We are spreading the word on your favorite sites. Join us!

Act Now!

Pledge your support to eliminate the demeaning use of the r-word.

PledgeactPledges

We've Pledged!

  • 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...

    ...

    Andrea M. Schroeder-Stangler

    Bellevue, Nebraska
    4 hours ago

  • 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...

    ...

    Faithe Logan`

    Murfreesboro, Tennessee
    4 hours ago

  • As a Mother of a child with intellectual disabilities, I know how hurtful it is to hear adults use the "R" word. I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory ...

    ...

    Theresa

    Olmsted Falls, Ohio
    7 hours ago

  • Since when do people think there is any kind of "normal" in this world? Nothing and no one is "normal" because our entire planet is extraordinary. This word ends here.

    Taylor

    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    100 hours ago

  • I pledge to support RESPECT by pledging to be a friend and an advocate to individuals with IDD. I will not use the derogatory r-word and support including all individ...

    ...

    Maria Garcia

    Amarillo, TX , Texas
    101 hours ago

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