Rochester, NY--September 20, 2019 – Public television station WXXI announced today that it will lead a pilot project to expand its innovative Move to Include project to promote inclusion in five new communities across the country. Funded by a $645,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), this 16-month project will scale up the multimedia initiative, developed by WXXI and the Golisano Foundation that combines content production, curation, and engagement to encourage dialogue about disability issues.
“People with disabilities make up our single largest minority in this country,” explains WXXI President & CEO Norm Silverstein. “Now we’re proud to pilot Move to Include in five additional communities, using public media’s many platforms to promote equity and inclusion. Through Move to Include, we hope to build more inclusive communities by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life. ”
With more than 15 years of experience in programming and producing disability-related content, WXXI will lead a collaboration of partner stations: WFYI (Indianapolis), OPB (Oregon), WGCU (Southwest Florida), WCNY (Syracuse), and Iowa Public Television. Each station will work to organize community partnerships, acquire and create content, and provide outreach, engagement, and promotion for the initiative. They will also contribute content to the PBS LearningMedia collection used by teachers, families and students free of charge.
“Public media belongs to everyone, and Move to Include is an important part of our mission to ensure inclusion for people with disabilities,” said Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “CPB is proud to support this effort to replicate through locally owned and operated public media stations, a community-based model that truly works.”
WXXI will create and manage a national Move to Include website to serve as a unified hub and oversee a unified strategy for sharing and reposting related content on social media.
The national project is slated to kick off July 2020 in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is the civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
WXXI has been providing focused coverage of disabilities for the past 15 years, when it partnered with the Al Sigl Community of Agencies to produce the one-week initiative, Dialogue on Disability. In 2014 with the support of businessman and philanthropist Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation, Move to Include was formed, enabling WXXI to dedicate its efforts throughout the year. WXXI has continued to expand production and add digital platforms to innovative programming with the support of $1 million from the Golisano Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation devoted to supporting programs for people with intellectual disabilities.
Move to Include encompasses PBS KIDS programs, prime-time curated TV specials, news and arts features, radio talk shows, educational segments, social media and online content, and in-person film events and screenings at the Little Theatre, WXXI’s independent cinema. Additional assets include EXITED, a five-part podcast series that shares the stories of eight young people as they navigate life transitions; The Inclusion Desk, a multi-platform reporting effort by WXXI News to inform and transform attitudes and behavior about inclusion; and a collection of 50 video segments on inclusion is distributed nationally through PBS LearningMedia, the go-to destination for classroom-ready, digital resources including videos, games, audio, photos and lesson plans.
Move to Include reaches approximately 1 million people each year. Independent evaluation of the project’s first year indicates impact from within and outside the disabilities community. WXXI has received a New York State Emmy award, several Telly awards and other media awards and, more significantly, community service awards from New York State Self Advocacy Association, for Move to Include’s attention to ensuring that a diverse set of voices is heard on our air, online, and in digital and community spaces.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, and subscribe for other updates.
WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. WXXI also has a long-term affiliation with Little Theatre, which helps enhance the cultural life of the community and strengthens two of Rochester's most vital arts institutions. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.