View in Browser | January 17, 2023

Save the Date!

Saturday, March 4, 2023

10 AM - 2 PM

Nazareth College

Golisano Training Center

Join us for an interactive day of fun, acceptance, and respect for the whole family!

Free and open to all!


Community inclusion stations of 70+ regional organizations (sign up here) Sports & fitness activities


Photo booth

Bounce house

Food trucks

Information, resources & demonstrations

And more to be announced soon!

Sign Up Now to Participate

We're looking for organizations that can bring fun and informative activities to the Festival of Inclusion. Your station should be informational and include creative, interactive activities.

Please sign up by Thursday, January 26

See more information

Scenes from the popular first Festival of Inclusion in 2020 that attracted almost 2,000 people and more than 50 organizations!

Plus! Spread the Word Inclusion Day is

Wednesday, March 1st

This year our Spread the Word mission is blessed with an opportunity we have not had in three years: we can stop and take a breath. We can assess where we’ve been and be deliberate about where we go next.

Our theme, Going All In(clusive), is a rallying cry to speak up against the wrong and demeaning use of the R-word in conversations and reinforce that language impacts attitudes and actions.

We are calling on you to share their stories of courage, dedication, and engagement for inclusion. Share the last time you went all in(clusive)—totally committed to something, bet everything, and stood up for something you believed in. End your message with a personal commitment on how you plan to “go all in” to take your own action for inclusion.

Learn more about this year's Spread the Word Inclusion Initiative

The Spread the Word Inclusion campaign was created and re-imagined by youth and is intended to engage schools, organizations, and communities to rally and pledge their support of inclusion and to promote acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

The Golisano Foundation has been challenging people to Spread the Word to End the R-Word (the word retard or retarded) and now Spread the Word Inclusion for over a decade, encouraging participation from people across New York state and Florida. The Foundation's annual campaign has become one of the largest in the country for a single region and is held on the national Spread the Word Inclusion day of awareness in early March. Schools, non-profits, businesses and many other organizations organize awareness events ask people to pledge to take a stand against using the R-word, "retard" or "retarded." The r-word has gained popularity in culture, but is offensive and derogatory to people with developmental disabilities. Spread the Word to End the Word now Spread the Word Inclusion was started by youth and is an ongoing effort of Special Olympics International and Best Buddies

About the Golisano Foundation

The Golisano Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. dedicated to making the world a better place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Foundation is devoted to opening doors to opportunity, changing negative perceptions and stereotypes, and forging unprecedented partnerships to ensure individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have pathways to personal dignity, independence, and the best possible expression of their abilities and talents throughout their lifetimes. Founded in 1985 by Tom Golisano — entrepreneur, philanthropist, civic leader, and founder of Paychex, Inc. — the Foundation “imagines the possibilities,” advocating for families, fighting for their dignity, and giving people with IDD the opportunity to thrive in their communities. With more than $60 million in gross assets, it awards about $3 million annually to non-profit organizations in Western New York and Southwest Florida.

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