Spread the Word to End the Word

spread the word to end the word banner

"Spread the Word to End the Word" is a simple call to action - stop and think about the hurtful and disparaging use of the word “retard” and pledge to stop using it. Our language frames how we think about others and this simple pledge to stop using the r-word can help create a world where everyone is accepted, respected and valued.

How did it all begin?

A group of young adults, both with and without intellectual disabilities, saw the need for a movement that promoted the positive contributions of people with intellectual disabilities. The result was a campaign called Spread the Word to End the Word.

What are people doing to support this cause?

Over 500 events were held throughout the United States to educate and raise awareness of why the use of the R-word is hurtful, even in casual conversation. Celebrities such as Joe Jonas and John C. McGinley have chosen to take the pledge and support the campaign by recording public service announcements.

Our Awareness Committee holds an annual Spread the Word to End the Word event in which students, faculty, and staff members are invited to take a pledge to end the use of the "r" word.  The Awareness Committee is also producing an insightful video to bring to light the hurtful impact that the "r" word has.  Our goal is to establish Villanova and the broader community as a community of respect.

What can I do to help?

Learn more about the R-word campaign and take the pledge at www.r-word.org.

Copyright Special Olympics, Inc.

Spread the Word to End the Word

Let's make Villanova a community of RESPECT.

Would you like to support Special Olympics Fall Festival at Villanova to make 2014 the best competition yet? Check out our volunteer page, or Donate Here

"Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
— Athlete Oath

How to Get Involved

How to Get Involved

Click here to learn about Volunteer opportunities!

The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fall Festival is unlike any other event at Villanova.  With great reason, athletes, volunteers, and students alike regularly remark that Fall Festival is their favorite weekend of the year.  Nothing else unites our campus with as much enthusiasm, and nothing makes Villanova as wonderful as experiencing the athletes’ excitement, sportsmanship, and joy.”

–Paul Insley, ’14
2013 Director of Competition



Fact:  Eunice Kennedy Shriver organized the first International Special Olympics Games in 1968. Held at Chicago's Soldier Field, the event consisted of 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada competing in track and field, swimming, and floor hockey.