Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) Day

  • Saturday September 24, 2011
  • Worldwide

On September 24, 2011, Special Olympics and Best Buddies will celebrate the impact that Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) had and still has. EKS Day is an annual event held on the fourth Saturday of September.

Founded last year in 2010, EKS DAY is an annual celebration of her life and a global call for people to commit actions of inclusion, acceptance and unity for and with people with intellectual disabilities. EKS Day was created to inspire individuals to become a part of her legacy and the movement that started as an inclusive sports camp in the early 1960s and has since transformed into a worldwide movement in over 170 countries.

The key message this year is "Play Unified to Live Unified." Our goal is to support and promote unified activities in schools and communities by encouraging others to join Unified Sports teams and creating opportunities for inclusion.

We ask that you join athletes of Special Olympics and buddies of Best Buddies and help them honor Eunice Kennedy Shriver on September 24 by becoming a fan of acceptance and action throughout the world.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver's actions helped open people's minds to the talents of individuals with intellectual disabilities. She believed in their possibilities and proved that one person could make a difference and change the world. Her lasting legacy must be our continued commitment to improve the lives of those living with intellectual disabilities.

Visit to learn about the life and impact of Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

U.S. President Barack Obama commended Eunice Kennedy Shriver as "a champion for people with intellectual disabilities."


Examples of the types of activities envisioned for the day going forward include:

  • Programs around the world will be challenged to stage highly visible, inclusive sports competitions and other activities involving people with and without intellectual disabilities.
  • Government leaders will be encouraged to use the issue proclamations recognizing EKS Day and to announce or enact legislation or laws that improve opportunities or increases legal protection or recognition for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Schools, youth groups, camps, service organizations will be asked to make themes of tolerance and acceptance through Special Olympics a core component of their activities on this day.
Share your Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day event or story by emailing your name, state/country and a description of your event to



Click here to learn more about EKS Day.