Wednesday was #NoGoodWay Day, a national campaign in conjunction with the Special Olympics, whose mission is to bring awareness and ultimately end the use of the “R-word” in Canada.
The campaign was created in 2014 by motionball, a not-for-profit organization that builds awareness and raises funds for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation (SOCF).
About 750,000 Canadians have an intellectual disability, which is about two per cent of Canada’s entire population, according to the Canadian Association of Community Living,
Motionball believes Canadians living with an intellectual disability are affected by the use of the R-word, as it invokes memories of being bullied and the feeling they are outsiders who aren’t worthy of respect.
The R-Word has been tweeted more than 1.4 million times since the beginning of the 2018, according to motionball’s website.
Motionball’s spokeswoman Julie Lafazanidis told Humber News that although #NoGoodWay takes place on March 7, it promotes the campaign throughout the year.
“Motionball runs 32 events across Canada throughout the year so we do promote #NoGoodWay sort of as a secondary initiative at all our events,” she said. “We run a variety of events, we have galas, marathon sports, motion bowls, all of which are interactive social and sporting events that bring together young professionals and Special Olympics athletes.”
Lafazanidis also said motionball welcomes the support of the Canadian government.
“We would love to see the support of no political party in particular but any political figures or anyone that is an influencer we would definitely love to see their support,” she said. “We have gotten quite a bit of attention on social media through various political figures, the minister for Sports and Disability is on board with our campaign as well as a lot of city mayors and provincial MP’s.”
Organizations, groups and athletes across Canada are taking part in the annual campaign.
— Tim Hortons (@TimHortons) March 7, 2018
— Thunder Bay Police (@tbpsmedia) March 7, 2018
We proudly support the @SpecialOAlberta and @motionball‘s #NoGoodWay campaign and we ask you, #yeg to always treat others the way you want to be treated. We all deserve the same respect and love. Share the message that there is No Good Way to use the R-word. pic.twitter.com/rZyf9zznVH
— Edmonton Police (@edmontonpolice) March 7, 2018
Today @CFL players are standing with @motionball to say there’s #NoGoodWay to use the R-word! Join @calstampeders‘ Mike Kashak and @Ticats‘ Mike Daly in the conversation as we work to eliminate the use of the R-word across Canada! pic.twitter.com/IYf9Yuz0LS
— motionball (@motionball) March 7, 2018
— McMaster Women’s Lacrosse (@mcmasterwlax) March 7, 2018
It’s #NoGoodWay day! Let’s help @Motionball & @SpecialOCanada spread the message of inclusion and acceptance by pledging not to use the r-word. Remember, it’s hurtful and there is #NoGoodWay to use it. https://t.co/pzQjVlDKXN @MotionballYGK –@MoRadio and @ItsLewis84 pic.twitter.com/Q7iqbfpOTh
— 1043 Fresh Radio (@1043FreshRadio) March 7, 2018
Director of Athletics and Recreation at Humber College, Ray Chateau, said he has never heard of the #NoGoodWay Day campaign but completely supports Humber taking part in it.
Although Humber College does not have a specific athletic program for people with intellectual disabilities, Chateau said the department is inclusive to everyone.
“There is no reason to preclude or dissuade anyone with special needs,” he said.
Anyone interested in becoming a #NoGoodWay champion can register on the motionball website to show support. By registering to support #NoGoodWay, champions pledge to the following:
“I will choose not to use the R-word in everyday conversation”
“I will educate others about the link between the R-word and bullying”
“I will show my support using on #NoGoodWay Day, held annually in March”
So far 13,236 #NoGoodWay champions have taken the pledge.