March 5, 2014: Spread the Word to End the Word Day

WHEREAS, respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the words "retard" and "retarded": and

WHEREAS, it is time to address the minority slur "retard(ed)" and raise the consciousness of society to its hurtful effects: and

WHEREAS, the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics Michigan and their supporters to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word "retard(ed)" and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word: and

WHEREAS, the campaign, created by youth with and without developmental disabilities, is intended to engage schools, organizations, and communities to rally and pledge their support at www.r-word.org with a goal of reaching 100,000 pledges: and

WHEREAS, on March 5, 2014, citizens across the State of Michigan and throughout the United States will lead the second annual day of awareness to Spread the Word to End the Word: and

WHEREAS, the day will be devoted to educating and raising awareness of the positive impact individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have in our communities and why the use of the R-word is hurtful, even in casual conversation:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder , Governor of the State of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 5, 2014 as Spread the Word to End the Word Day in Michigan.