Spread the Word to End the Word 2014

  • March 5, 2014

Spread the Word to End the WordTM is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies and our supporters to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the R-word (retard/retarded) and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. 

The campaign, created by youth, is intended to engage schools organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support at www.r-word.org and to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  


March 5, 2014. The official annual day of awareness is held the first Wednesday of every March. While most activities are centered on or near that annual day in March, people everywhere can help spread the word throughout their communities and schools year-round thru pledge drives, youth rallies and online activation. A list of events being held in Michigan in 2014 can be found at the bottom of this page.


Spread the Word to End the Word was founded by college students Soeren Palumbo (Notre Dame 2011) and Tim Shriver (Yale 2011) in 2009, and continues to be led by passionate young people, Special Olympics athletes and Best Buddies participants across the United States and in many other parts of the world.


Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities.  However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the R-word. 

Language affects attitudes. Attitudes impact actions. Make your pledge to choose respectful people first language today at www.R-word.org.


Visit www.r-word.org to learn how you can Spread the Word to End the Word.

February 15 - National Youth Activation Committee Meeting
March 5 - National Spread the Word to End the Word Day
March 10 -14 R-word Campaign - Huron High School
March 6 - Educational Leaders Network Meeting - Lansing
March 6 - Washington Woods Middle School Anti-bully movie premiere produced by students
March 21 - Unified Basketball Exhibition - Hoopfest Lansing
Flushing Middle School Staff vs. student volleyball fundraiser Thursday, April 3rd



The following Spread the Word to End the Word events are scheduled for Michigan in 2014: