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Special Olympics Celebrates Champions of Inclusion

From 20-26 July 2020, Special Olympics is celebrating champions of inclusion as part of Global Week of Inclusion and "The Revolution Is Inclusion," a five-year campaign.

Special Olympics is asking people to nominate champions of inclusion and sign the Inclusion Pledge. We can change the world for tomorrow with inclusion today. Special Olympics will celebrate champions of inclusion by launching an exclusive playlist on Pandora and releasing a public service announcement for broadcast and streaming platforms. The marketing campaign will also feature engaging social media content, including photos, videos, image frames, GIFs, and hashtags #CelebratingChampions, #ChooseToInclude, and #InclusionRevolution. Additional activities will engage celebrity ambassadors and publicly thank individuals and organizations who make the mission of inclusion possible.

A champion of inclusion is someone who fights for justice and joy, and who respects and empowers people of all abilities—in sports, schools, workplaces, communities, and everywhere else. Some of the nominated champions of inclusion will be highlighted on the organization’s website and social media during Global Week of Inclusion, 20-26 July 2020. For example:

  • Philippines athlete "AJ" was living alone, malnourished, without care or supervision in an abandoned home during the quarantine lockdown. Special Olympics staff tracked him down, saving him just in time.
  • Minnesota (USA) athlete Steven proves how people with intellectual disabilities can be heroes and essential workers in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Inclusion Pledge was created by students from Ponaganset High School, a Special Olympics Unified Champion School® in Rhode Island. With over 7,600 Unified Champion Schools across the United States—which actively engage students to instill respect and dignity for all—the concept is now going global with expansion to schools in six countries in 2020.

For the first time, Pandora has teamed up with a non-profit organization to create a playlist, and on 21 July will release Special Olympics Champions. Created by Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners in the U.S., the playlist is packed with songs to inspire and excite listeners. Special Olympics celebrity ambassadors have contributed to the playlist, including:

Many Special Olympics partners are also honoring champions of inclusion to celebrate Global Week of Inclusion:

  • Aerie is highlighting athletes from Special Olympics Texas who earned silver medals at Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, selling a “Better Together” tee online with 100% of sales benefiting Special Olympics, and running a point of sale donation campaign in stores in the U.S. and Canada through 16 August.
  • Anytime Fitness will lead three virtual trainings on 22 July: one energy booster, one full workout, and one recovery session.
  • Microsoft is launching a complementary campaign, highlighting the 2020 Special Olympics Xbox Virtual Gaming Event and spotlighting their internal champions of inclusion.
  • Founding partner The Coca-Cola Company is matching online donations to Special Olympics.
  • Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan and Toyota Motor North America will participate in Global Week of Inclusion and the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on 26 July.
  • United Airlines will highlight the partnership on 23 July, with social media engagements and internal diversity and inclusion initiatives including encouraging United employees to sign the Inclusion Pledge.
  • WWE will giveaway Mattel WWE action figures via social media, host a Unified School of Strength workout, share audio and video messages featuring WWE talent, and more!

Special Olympics Ambassadors lend their time, talent, and resources to support the Special Olympics mission. They are committed to promoting inclusion and making a real difference in ending discrimination against people with ID all around the world. During Global Week of Inclusion, we are highlighting our Ambassadors’ impact on social media because they are true champions for inclusion.

Special Olympics Inclusion Manifesto Public Service Announcement

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