Our Athletes

The Continued Push for Inclusion: Black History Month 2021

Krystal Johnson holds a racket in one hand and a ball in the other on a tennis court.
Krystal Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California athlete, prepares to serve during a tennis match at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

Black History Month, started by historian Carter G. Woodson, has been celebrated in the United States in February since 1976 as a way to honor the long ignored achievements and contributions made by African Americans. Today, Black History Month is recognized by other countries including Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands, though not always in February.

Black athletes and staff have been leaders of the Special Olympics movement since its inception in 1968. Black people in the movement have fought for full inclusion in society on two fronts—as people of color and as people with intellectual disabilities.

For Black History Month 2021, we hear from Black Special Olympics athletes, Youth Leaders and staff members about how what they do at Special Olympics aligns with social justice in the Black community.

Visit this page to watch new videos and hear their stories throughout Black History Month!!

Special Olympics athletes and Youth Leaders share how they fight for inclusion
Honor Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
Trent Hampton Celebrates Inclusion

Recommended Content
Latrice recently became the first African American to race at the Unified Snowboarding X Games competition.
1 Min Read
Loretta Claiborne went from being non-verbal to becoming the voice of the Special Olympics movement.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is celebrated every 19 June. This holiday commemorates the announcement in Galveston, Texas, on 19 June 1865 that all enslaved people were free and celebrates the end of slavery.