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The global day for 2019 Spread the World: Inclusion was Wednesday, March 6, 2019. However, our athletes, Unified Champion Schools, Young Professionals Committee, and Executive Advisory Board celebrated throughout the month.
Sayre High School created an art contest where students were asked to create a superhero with an anti-violent theme. Along with their drawing, students had to say what their superpowers were that made them an anti-violent superhero. Winners were chosen by the Unified Sports team. Hill Freedman World Academy took to the halls and collected online pledges where students agreed to include those who might need a friend or someone sitting on the sidelines. Middle Years Alternative (MYA) had students sign a banner than they hung to pledge their commitment to inclusion.
Stradley Ronon staff donned the Spread the Word: Inclusion shirt and had information on how to get involved with Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia displayed on their televisions throughout the building. One of the employees at Stradley even got their daughters school involved where teachers wore the shirts too! Montgomery McCracken’s Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities group, a subgroup of the firm’s Diversity Committee, was proud to spearhead the Spread the Word event at their office. The attorneys and staff participated in a “Jeans Day” to raise money for Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia! If they donated to the cause, they were able to wear jeans and their Spread the Word shirts! Brandywine Realty Trust employees also had a dress down day and displayed our message on the jumbo screen at Commerce Square.
The City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services recognized Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) during the 2019 Brighter Futures Awards. Special Olympics PA received the “Inclusion Award of Excellence” for its commitment to promoting inclusion through Unified Sports and for hosting the first global City of Inclusion Summit. Special Olympics PA Philadelphia Athletes Lisa Barbour, Eddie Glover, and Sharon Quarles, as well as Special Olympics PA President and CEO, Matt Aaron, and Philadelphia Director, Chase Trimmer, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
The 2019 Brighter Futures Awards was the 27th annual awards presentation. March 22nd was a day of celebration, recognition, resource sharing, and fun. This year’s theme, “Don’t Limit Me: Charting My Life-Course around My Abilities” was expressed throughout the day’s activities, including educational workshops, exhibits and remarks. The day kicked off with a keynote from Amy Millar of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs who celebrated the many dedicated and talented volunteer leaders who were present. After a short program, attendees got to attend workshops along the topics of spirituality, trauma, housing and life sharing, community of practice, and relationships.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Councilman Derek Green, co-chair of the 2018 Philadelphia City of Inclusion Summit were in attendance and gave remarks to the crowd. The City of Inclusion Summit, held on December 11, 2018, brought together stakeholders from across industries and sectors to collaborate on efforts that promote greater inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the areas of education, employment, health, housing and access to information and services. The Intellectual Disability Services department acknowledged this achievement and has pledged to support efforts to make Philadelphia a global City of Inclusion.