Special Olympics Florida is kicking off the “Race for Inclusion,” a nine-month challenge to make communities around the state more accepting, respectful, and inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities. The statewide initiative is a celebration of diversity and a campaign to end the isolation and injustices faced by people with ID.
The launch coincides with Spread the Word Day, the worldwide effort of Special Olympics and Best Buddies International to foster respect and inclusion for people everywhere. Spread the Word Day invites people to commit individual acts of inclusion and create socially inclusive spaces for all.
Beginning on Spread the Word Day, the Race for Inclusion is a nine-month campaign that asks Floridians everywhere to be part of the inclusion revolution. Through a series of local, regional, and statewide fundraising events – culminating with a series of races in the fall – it seeks to celebrate people with ID and demonstrate they are capable of remarkable things if only given the chance.
“Today, there are people with ID who are best-selling authors, accomplished musicians, world-class athletes, and community leaders,” said Special Olympics Florida President & CEO Sherry Wheelock. “As a society, we must ensure everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. The Race for Inclusion campaign is a way to highlight the limitless potential of our athletes and of people with ID everywhere.”
The Race for Inclusion is a rebellion against “fear of difference” and a demand that people with ID be treated with equality, dignity, and the recognition of our shared humanity. It embodies the peaceful, long-running social revolution championed by Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Florida will work with Race for Inclusion ambassadors to promote the campaign. Ambassadors will include Special Olympics Florida athletes and high-profile figures from the worlds of business, sports, and entertainment.
The campaign will help Special Olympics Florida serve more than 60,000 athletes each year with comprehensive programs in sports training, health screenings, and leadership development. Through the transformative power and joy of sport, the organization helps those athletes live richer, fuller lives.
Special Olympics Florida has been fighting for inclusion and acceptance since its founding almost 50 years ago. To learn how to get involved with the Race for Inclusion, visit sofl.org